Showing results 1 - 12 of 13 for the month of December, 2002.

December 31, 2002

Lost artefacts in the British Museum

Posted at 8:11 am in British Museum, Similar cases

In the past, the British Museum has claimed that it can look after artefacts such as the Parthenon Sculptures better than institutions in the home countries of these artefacts can. The evidence available regularly seems to contradict this assertion however.


Missing Roman goblet baffles museum
Sarah Hall
Tuesday December 31, 2002
The Guardian

It sounds like the title of an Agatha Christie whodunnit. But the mystery of the missing Roman goblet is no fictional riddle.

Archivists at the British Museum are scratching their heads after learning that the biggest hoard of Roman treasure ever found in Britain comprised 35 pieces – not 34, as has been believed for the past 60 years – and that the goblet that is missing could be worth more than £1m.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 29, 2002

UK museums against return of Aboriginal human remains

Posted at 8:18 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Museums in the UK are coming out strongly in criticism of suggestions that they should return Aboriginal artefacts in their collections. It is thought that some of this unwillingness stems from their fears that such a move would weaken their case for the continuing retention of the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.

Sydney Morning Herald

Is it altruism or the fear of losing their marbles?
December 28 2002

Powerful forces are working to convince the British Government that the place for Aboriginal remains is London’s museums, writes Peter Fray.

“The race is a very degraded one and … even the coarse traders and cattle-ranchers make no irregular unions with their women so the race remains pure.” – Dr Arthur Gedge, circa 1900.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 22, 2002

Manitoba Minister Steve Ashton works to reunite the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 8:36 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The Canadian Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, is campaigning within Canada for the return of the Parthenon Marbles that are currently in the British Museum to Athens, Greece. Senator Shirley Maheu plans to table a motion in the Senate, calling on the federal government to urge the British government to return the marbles before the 2004 Olympic Games.

Winnipeg Sun

Sunday, December 22, 2002
Ashton fights for marbles

Manitoba Conservation Minister Steve Ashton is trying to repatriate the Parthenon marbles — but jokes his friends have asked whether he’s lost his marbles.

The MLA from Thompson says he’s one step closer to realizing his dream of having the ancient sculptures returned to Athens from London’s British Museum.
Read the rest of this entry »

How the British Museum fails to look after artefacts in its collection

Posted at 8:25 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

the British Museum has in the past, often made a point about how artefacts in their collection are looked after far better than they would have been in their original countries, such as Athens. stories of lost artefacts & damaged artefacts, along with secret repairs by staff, fail to inspire confidence in this worldview.

The Times

December 22, 2002
Breakages and bungling at British Museum
Will Iredale and Jonathan Calvert

PRICELESS artefacts from ancient Greece and Rome are being mislaid, broken and poorly protected in the cash-strapped British Museum, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Chaotic scenes at the museum — custodian of some of the world’s greatest antiquities — were witnessed by an undercover reporter posing as a work experience trainee.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 19, 2002

Museums fear being pressured into returning artefacts

Posted at 8:52 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Many large museums around the world now live in fear of artefacts being removed from their collections, despite the fact, that in many cases the museums themselves are fully aware of the dubious provenance of the works in question.

Chicago Tribune

Posted on Thu, Dec. 19, 2002
Museums balk at returning art objects acquired centuries ago
Chicago Tribune

(KRT) – Art museums have been asked to return works stolen by Nazis from wealthy Jews. Native Americans have demanded the return of human remains and sacred objects taken without permission from their ancestors and now in the hands of history museums.

If at first these museums balked at losing some of their most treasured possessions, they soon bowed to both laws and public opinion and repatriated many artifacts.
Read the rest of this entry »

Greece proceeds with New Acropolis Musuem, despite the absence of the main exhibit

Posted at 8:45 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Greece is proceeding with the construction of a new museum to house the Parthenon Sculptures, despite the fact that the British Museum is showing now signs of relenting in their attempts to keep the contested artefacts in their collection.

United Press International

The Art World: Pesky Parthenon marbles
From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 12/19/2002 11:50 AM

NEW YORK, Dec. 19 (UPI) — Greece is blithely going ahead with the construction of a new $87 million Acropolis Museum in Athens centered on a huge exhibition hall for the display of the Parthenon marbles, most of which are owned by the British Museum and not likely to leave London at any time in the near future.

Not since the late actress Melina Mercouri was Greece’s famously nagging culture minister has the British Museum been under such pressure to surrender possession of the so-called Elgin Marbles, brought to England by British diplomat Lord Elgin to insure their safety during the Greek war of independence from the Ottoman Turks. The British Museum bought the collection of sculptures from Elgin in 1816.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 18, 2002

Is fear of returning the Parthenon Sculptures blocking the return of Aboriginal remains?

Posted at 8:59 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Co-operation between the British & Australian government is leading towards the proposed return of various Aboriginal artefacts involving human remains, currently held in the UK’s Museums. Museums are trying to block any changes to the law that would allow this, partly out of a fear that such artefact returns would then lead to them having to return items such as the Parthenon Sculptures.

The Age (Melbourne)

Return of remains at risk
December 18 2002
By Peter Fray
Europe Correspondent

Britain’s long-running dispute with Greece over the return of the Elgin Marbles sculptures threatens to stall Australian efforts to repatriate thousands of Aboriginal remains from leading British museums.

Members of an independent British working group, due to report on the export of human remains, say they have recently been warned against recommending law reforms that might indirectly assist the Greeks.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 13, 2002

Italy plans to lend Parthenon sculpture fragment to Greece

Posted at 12:53 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Italy has made the brave move, of being the first country to commit to returning a fragment from the Parthenon Sculptures. It might be a small fragment, but it is a start, and will increase the pressure on other institutions to follow suit.


Italian loan puts marbles pressure on British Museum
Fiachra Gibbons, arts correspondent
Friday December 13, 2002
The Guardian

Italy yesterday put further pressure on the British Museum to hand back the Elgin Marbles to Greece by returning a fragment of the contested 4th century BC frieze they themselves looted.

The choice of a piece of a statue of Peitho, the goddess of persuasion and seduction, on a long-term loan back to Athens could not have been more diplomatically powerful. A similar deal offered to Britain last month in an attempt to get the marbles back in time for the 2004 Olympics was rebuffed.
Read the rest of this entry »

Greece re-iterates the limits of their claims on the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 12:36 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Greek Culture Minster, Evangelos Venizelos, has issued a statement, clarifying what Greece is & isn’t asking to be returned – and that the requests against the British Museum only include the sculptures from the Parthenon, despite assertions from the museums that this would be the tip of the iceberg, leading to more artefacts returning afterwards.

New York Times

December 13, 2002
Greece Affirms Limits to Elgin Marbles Claim

Greece’s case for the return of the so-called Elgin Marbles — fragments of the Parthenon frieze now housed in the British Museum — has nothing to do with claims for the repatriation of other cultural assets, Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek culture minister, said yesterday.

He was responding to a recent statement signed by 18 museum directors representing most of the major museums of the United States and Europe (except those in Britain and most of those in Italy). The statement affirmed the museums’ right to hold on to artworks that have long been in their collections.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 11, 2002

Universal Museums declaration aims to block artefact restitution

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Various major museums from around the world have issued a document declaring the importance of the Universal Museum. It is thought that part of their aim behind this, is in an attempt to prevent having to return artefacts from their collections (with dubious provenance) to their original owners. This is of particular concern to many Australian Aboriginal groups, who were having a certain level of success in working towards a commitment for the return of artefacts involving human remains.

The Age (Melbourne)

Museums get tough on ‘trophy’ returns
December 11 2002
By Peter Fray,
Europe Correspondent,

A group of leading European and US museums have issued a declaration opposing the wholesale repatriation of cultural artefacts seized during imperial rule or by means now considered unethical.

They say the universal role played by collections of archaeological, artistic and ethnic objects in promoting culture outweighs the desire by individual countries or racial groups for their return.
Read the rest of this entry »

Declaration on the importance of the Universal Museum

Posted at 12:59 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

More coverage of the declaration on the importance of the Universal Museum – issued without the name of the British Museum included on it, but thought by many to have been masterminded by them. Many have been quick to notice the relevance of this declaration in trying to shore up the British Museums defences for their retention of the Elgin Marbles, against the powerful argument presented by the construction of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

News Observer

Wednesday, December 11, 2002 3:26PM EST
World galleries back British Museum in dispute with Greece

LONDON (AP) – Several of the world’s leading museums defended the British Museum’s right to keep ancient statues taken from the Parthenon 200 years ago, despite Greek demands for their return.

A letter signed by the directors of 18 museums, including the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said works acquired decades ago have become essential to the museums that house them. “Objects acquired in earlier times must be viewed in the light of different sensitivities and values, reflective of that earlier era,” the statement said.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 7, 2002

When jokes get confused with the truth

Posted at 1:46 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A Belgian newspaper appears to have re-printed the story about the real origins of the Elgin Marbles from Artnose, without realising that the whole story was originally written as a satirical spoof.


How the Belgians lost their marbles
Fiachra Gibbon, arts correspondent
Saturday December 7, 2002

It looked like the archaeological scoop of the year. The Elgin Marbles were not Greek after all, but the work of a wandering stonemason from Devon called Phil Davies who changed his name to Pheidias to ingratiate himself with his ancient Athenian patrons.

And it got better. The British Museum, sick of a century of Greek whingeing about its refusal to return to sculptures to the Acropolis, was now demanding the repatriation of the entire Parthenon to Britain where it would be rebuilt as a part of a “shopping centre and multiplex cinema” in the West Midlands.
Read the rest of this entry »