Showing 4 results for the month of July, 2004.

July 27, 2004

Who should own artefacts

Posted at 1:49 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The Dja Dja Wurrung tribe of Australian Aboriginals have seized bark etchings while they were on loan from the British Museum & the Natural History Museum. following on from this case, the BBC have done an interesting feature on other disputed artworks, including the Parthenon Marbles, as well as other lesser known cases.

BBC News

Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 10:58 GMT
Countries battle over artefacts
An Aboriginal group has prevented native Australian artefacts from returning to the UK museums from which they were loaned. BBC News Online looks at other disputed treasures and the growing calls to have them repatriated.

In 1810, a total of 56 sculpted friezes, depicting gods, men and monsters, were removed from the Parthenon in Athens by British ambassador Lord Elgin.
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July 26, 2004

Universal Museum?

Posted at 11:11 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

For some time now, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, has argued the concept of a universal museum. It is a concept dating to the age of enlightenment & the founding of the British Museum. He uses this argument to justify the retention of a large number of disputed artworks from around the world, while ignoring the notion that there are other museological paradigms as well as that of the universal museum. The universal museum should not be somehow sacred above all other modes of operation. The world has moved on in many ways since the age of enlightenment, but many of the world’s museums seem reluctant to move with changing times. Why shouldn’t they instead be the first to lead the way, to create a new era of co-operation between museums, of a networked knowledge & co-existence in much the same way as the internet has transformed the ways in which academic institutions can now work together (although we should not that all to often, as with museums, this is merely the potential, rather than what necessarily happens).
Moreover, although the British Museum might be seen by MacGregor as a universal museum, at present there is little in the way of guidance there to help the visitor to understand it in this way, rather than as a series of unrelated galleries.

The Guardian

Saturday July 24, 2004
The Guardian
The whole world in our hands
Controversy over ownership of its treasures obscures the British Museum’s purpose. By offering everyone insights into cultural history, argues its director Neil MacGregor, the museum promotes a greater understanding of humanity

For many, the icon of the British Museum is the Rosetta Stone, that administrative by-product of the Greek imperial adventure in Africa. But I want to begin with an object from the other end of the continent. It is a chair, pieced together from fragments of weapons decommissioned in Mozambique after the amnesty that ended the civil war in 1992, by the artist Kester as part of the project Transforming Arms into Plough Shares. It’s almost the first thing the visitor now sees when entering the Africa Gallery at the museum and it is, I think, for any viewer, a disconcerting and thought-provoking object.
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July 20, 2004

The story of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 12:22 am in Elgin Marbles

An article from the International Herald Tribune on the Parthenon Marbles, prompted by the Olympics.

International Herald Tribune

Monday, July 19, 2004
The Elgin Marbles
The Greek government is using the spotlight of the Olympics to press its case for the return of the Elgin marbles, now housed at the British Museum in London. Once an adequate exhibition space is ready in Athens, the museum’s trustees ought to restore these treasures to their rightful home.

The poet Byron did not think Lord Elgin, the British minister in Constantinople, had the right to remove the marbles from the Parthenon and take them to London in 1806.
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July 13, 2004

They’ve lost their marbles, and they want the world to know

Posted at 1:50 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The Boston Globe has an in depth article about the Greek case for the return of the Elgin Marbles in the lead up to the Olympics.

Boston Globe

They’ve lost their marbles, and they want the world to know
Greek exhibit presses Britain to return Parthenon sculptures
By Charles M. Sennott and Sarah Liebowitz, Globe Staff And Globe Correspondent
July 12, 2004

ATHENS — Art exhibits often have missions or political statements. But the goal of an exhibit opening next month at the Parthenon, the jewel of Athenian art and culture, is more specific than most: It is intended to provoke London’s British Museum into loaning its Parthenon sculptures to Greece.

Timed to coincide with the millions of tourists flooding into Athens for the Summer Olympics, the exhibit, which is expected to open Aug. 2, has been assembled to starkly illustrate what the Greeks see as an injustice. It occurred in the 19th century, when the British Lord Elgin and his team of excavators hacked nearly half of the marble sculptures and friezes off the Parthenon and toted them back to London, where they are housed in the British Museum.
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