Showing results 1 - 12 of 23 for the month of June, 2005.

June 27, 2005

The cleaning of the west frieze

Posted at 5:18 pm in Elgin Marbles

The BBC has created a short picture story on the cleaning of the west frieze of the Parthenon.

You can see the article here:
BBC News (I won’t copy the text out, as it is only relevant with the pictures it accompanies)

Parliamentary question on reform of British Museum Act

Posted at 4:52 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

After the Feldmann case highlighted the need for reform of the British Museum Act, Andrew Dismore MP, a long time supporter of the return of the Parthenon Marbles has asked DCMS about when the act will be reformed.


Written Answers to Questions
Tuesday 14 June 2005
British Museum Act
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will bring forward amendments to the British Museum Act 1963 following the judgment of the High Court in the case of works of art formerly owned by Arthur Feldman and now in the British Museum; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Lammy [Minister for Culture in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport]: We are carefully considering the recent recommendation of the Spoliation Advisory Panel that legislation should be introduced to permit the return of items where possession was lost during the Nazi era. The Vice Chancellor’s judgment of 27 May provides clarity in this important area and will contribute to our consideration of the Panel’s recommendation.

June 26, 2005

Italian Getty case is “not just about the Getty”

Posted at 5:54 pm in Similar cases

Following on from the indictment of Marion True by the Italian courts last month, the Italians want to highlight that the Getty is far from the only museum that they believe has received artefacts from illegal digs. In this article, they also mention that the investigations cover several Etruscan items that are now in the British Museum.

The Sunday Times

June 26, 2005
Italy goes after the Getty for ‘receiving’ art
John Follain, Rome
THE curator of antiquities at California’s respected J Paul Getty Museum will go on trial in Italy next month accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods in a landmark case closely watched by the art world.

Marion True, 56, who has worked since 1982 for the Getty, one of the world’s richest collections, is also accused by Rome prosecutors of illicit receipt of archeological items.

The trial involves some 40 artefacts and follows a nine-year inquiry by Italy’s art squad, a unit of the carabinieri — the paramilitary police.
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Koh-i-Noor compared to Elgin Marbles

Posted at 5:47 pm in Similar cases

Just another of the many items acquired by the British in the last 200 years.

The Telegraph (Calcutta, India)

Unkind cut with Koh-i-Noor clone
– Replica of original diamond to go on display at British museum

London, June 25: In a gesture that will infuriate diehard Indian nationalists, the British are to put a replica of the original uncut Koh-i-Noor, the most famous diamond in the world, on display at the Natural History Museum in London from July 8.

The Koh-i-Noor was taken as booty by the British when Lord Dalhousie annexed Punjab.
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Feldmann case legal details

Posted at 5:43 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Some of the online legal journals have now covered the Feldman case that has been discussed in detail here previously. These new reports do bring to light a few points that were not mentioned in the other reports of the case, such as the fact that there is a possibility of a compromise, whereby the British Museum could acknowledge that due to their legality, it could be claimed that the four paintings were never legally a part of the British Museum’s collection – in which case the de-accessioning rules would not apply.

Incorporated council of law reporting

Attorney General v Trustees of the British Museum
Ch D: Sir Andrew Morritt V-C: 27 May 2005

Under s 3(4) of the British Museum Act 1963 the Trustees of the British Museum were prohibited from returning an object which formed part of the collections of the museum to a previous owner of the object, notwithstanding that because of the circumstances leading up to the acquisition of the object, there was a moral obligation to do so.
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June 22, 2005

The quality of the preserved west frieze

Posted at 1:02 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

In response to the letter in the Times from Paul Chishick, Chris Price points out the high quality of the surface of the newly restored pieces on display in the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

The Times

June 22, 2005
Marbles not lost
From Mr Chris Price

Sir, I disagree with Mr Paul Chishick’s assertion (letter, June 16) that the survival of the Parthenon Marbles is due to storage in the British Museum.

The West Frieze of the Parthenon was long thought to have been ruined by time and pollution. It is now amazingly preserved under cover, right down to the veins on the flanks of the horses.

Those in Bloomsbury had their patina scrubbed white in the 1930s, almost certainly to satisfy the cleanliness fetish of the gallery’s generous donor, Joseph Duveen.

(Vice-chairman, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles)
Dulwich, London

June 19, 2005

Poor security keeps Iraq museum closed

Posted at 6:18 pm in Similar cases

While many countries are asking for the return of artefacts looted from them in the past, other museums have to use armed guards to deter modern day looters.
The countries that are indirectly responsible for the looting are the same as 100 years ago, but fortunately now, the media & public opinion is paying far more attention to the situation & how it should be resolved than ever happened in the past.

Al Jazeera

Poor security shuts Iraqi museum
Friday 17 June 2005, 10:04 Makka Time, 7:04 GMT

Iraq Museum director Donny George takes security a bit more seriously than most other museum heads would.

Books on his shelves summarise his struggle: Institutional Trauma: Major Change in Museums and its Effect on Staff, Museum Security and Protection and Moving the Mountain: A Guide to Moving Collections.

“I tell the guards, if they shoot one bullet, then you shoot 100. We must show that the place is well-protected.”
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June 18, 2005

Admiral Lord Nelson & the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 10:13 pm in Elgin Marbles

A story has been running in Kathimerini (the Greek language newspaper, not the smaller English language edition) about a letter by Admiral Lord Nelson. The letter was discovered in a museum at the American Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The letter refers to Lord Elgin & also to 28 boxes of ancient sculpture from Athens.
At the end of the article, they also point out that Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is due to meet Tony Blair on 30th June.

The three original Greek language articles that describe the story in more depth were published on 12th June, 14th June & 16th June.


Saturday June 18, 2005
Letter from Nelson about Parthenon Marbles

Kathimerini reader Elli Vassilikioti was visiting the small museum of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, when she caught sight of a framed letter signed Nelson V Bronte. When she examined it more closely, she noticed that it resembled the writing of Lord Nelson, the hero of Abukir and vanquisher of Napoleon’s army. What caught her attention was the reference to Lord Elgin and the 28 boxes of ancient sculpture from Athens, which he took when he captured the Arab French corvette. Read the rest of this entry »

More coverage of the returned Kouros

Posted at 6:48 pm in Similar cases

Following the coverage by the Guardian on the Kouros returned to Samos by James Ede, another article has appeared in the Guardian copies of which have appeared in many regional papers across the US.
Athens News Agency have also covered the story.

The Guardian

Return of statue raises hopes in Greece
Helena Smith in Athens
Friday June 17, 2005
The Guardian

He’s got a broken nose, has been called ugly, and is barely 12cm tall. But that is not stopping Greeks welcomed the return from London of a 6th century BC bronze kouros, seized from the Aegean island of Samos by Nazi looters 60 years ago.

Yesterday, as the statue was unveiled at a ceremony in Athens, Greece’s culture minister Fani Palli-Petrallia said she hoped its repatriation would finally send a message to the British Museum.
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Care of the Elgin Marbles & museum opening hours

Posted at 6:38 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Following on from the letter in The Times last week connecting the return of the Elgin Marbles with Britain’s 2012 Olympic Bid, there is a response claiming that what Elgin did was right as otherwise the marbles would not have survived.
This does not explain the high quality of the newly cleaned & restored frieze sections that went on display in the Acropolis Museum last year.

The Times

June 16, 2005
Marbles not lost
From Mr Paul Chishick

Sir, If the Reverend Dr Nicholas W. S. Cranfield (letter, June 10) advocates the adoption of the Ancient Greek codes of xenia (hospitality), surely Lord Elgin’s actions are entirely justified? As we see in the Odyssey, the principal purpose of travel for nobles of the Homeric Age was the acquisition of treasure — whether it be by pillage or exchange of gifts.

As for the inconvenience of the British Museum, it does not charge admission. Greek sites (which do) are often, in my experience, closed with little notice. The very survival of the Elgin Marbles is due to their storage here, as can be seen by comparison with the caryatids left on the Acropolis.

University College, Oxford

June 16, 2005

Kouros stolen in WWII is returned to Samos

Posted at 8:46 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

A couple of weeks ago, an art dealer discovered that a kouros that he had purchased had been taken illegally from Greece during the war. He decided to return it, & earlier today the statue was welcomed back by the island’s museum.
The art dealer, James Ede is president of the chairman of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art

The Guardian

Greek Statue Stolen During WWII Returned
Thursday June 16, 2005 5:01 PM
AP Photo ATH101
Associated Press Writer

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Authorities cheered the return Thursday of a tiny, 2,600-year-old statue stolen during World War II, and said the news should offer hope to antiquity officials in Iraq as well.

They also said the statue’s return should send a message to the British Museum, which currently has the Parthenon Marbles – a collection of Greek sculptures taken from the Parthenon in 1811.
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June 15, 2005

China continues campaign to buy back looted artefacts

Posted at 10:21 pm in Similar cases

Zhang Yongnian continues his project to buy many of the artefacts looted from China between 1840 & 1949. As I have previously indicated, this method of retrieving the artefacts is one that few western museums would consider ethically acceptable even if they did have the money available to carry out such a plan.

China Daily

Reclaiming cultural relics from overseas
China Daily Updated: 2005-06-14 06:02

Cultural relic experts and NGOs have set the wheels in motion to begin reclaiming China’s national treasures from abroad, said an article in Beijing Review. The following are excerpts from the article:

On April 11, the China Cultural Relics Recovery Programme, funded by the China Foundation for the Development of Folklore Culture announced a large-scale programme to reclaim Chinese cultural relics scattered around the world.
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