Showing results 1 - 12 of 31 for the month of July, 2005.

July 28, 2005

Axum Obelisk re-erection discussed with UNESCO

Posted at 1:17 pm in Similar cases

In many cases concerning repatriation of cultural treasures, the party currently holding the artefacts claims that if they are returned then they will not be looked after properly. Ethiopia is starting to prove that this will no be the case with the Axum Obelisk by consulting extensively with UNESCO about the best way to re-erect the Obelisk in its original location.

Sudan Tribune

Ethiopia to discuss historic obelisk re-erection with UNESCO
Thursday July 28th, 2005 00:16.
ADDIS ABABA, July 27, 2005 (Xinhua) — An Ethiopian delegation left for France on Wednesday to discuss ways of re-erecting the historic Axum obelisk with the United Nations.
The Axum obelisk, weighing 160 tons and standing 24 meters high, is around 1,700 years old and has become a symbol of the Ethiopian people’s identity. In 1937, the invaders of fascist Italy dismantled and took it on the orders of Benito Mussolini. Italy returned the monument to the northern ancient town of Axum in April.
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Germany wants Russia to return looted artefacts

Posted at 1:05 pm in Similar cases

Russia continues to hold a large amount of artefacts that they took from Germany during the Second World War. Germany also holds a number of Russian artefacts. In all the discussions between the two countries about the return of these items tat were looted relatively recently, there is never much discussion of how items such as Etruscan sculptures ended up in German Museums in the first place.

International Herald Tribune

Germany hankers for its heritage
By Judy Dempsey International Herald Tribune

POTSDAM, Germany When Chancellor Gerhard Schröder traveled to Moscow in May for the lavish celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Germany’s museum directors and curators hoped against hope that Russia would start returning the art plundered by the Red Army after it took Berlin in the spring of 1945.

“Somehow we hoped that once the celebrations in Moscow had taken place, we could reach a deal over getting the art back and that a new era would begin,” said Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. “I suppose we had been investing in that.”
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The virtual reunification of the Xiangtangshan Cave artefacts

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

The Xiangtangshan caves in China were once adorned with many sculptures & brightly coloured paintings that were removed in the early twentieth century to museums & private collections.
A new project intends to digitise the displaced sculptures & re-create the original appearance of the caves so that they can be viewed in three dimensions on a computer.
Despite what this article suggests, use of computers for this purpose is not entirely new, & there have already been digital composites made of the Parthenon which unify the sculptures from their varying locations & the building itself. Of course, with the Parthenon it is an easier task than it would be with some monuments, as the original positions of the sculptures are very clearly documented & set out.

Chicago Tribune

U. of C. project putting ancient pieces together
16th-Century temples in China to be seen in computer model
By Tran M. Phung
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 28, 2005

The Xiangtangshan Caves, comprising a dozen 6th-Century Buddhist cave temples south of Beijing, once contained elaborate altars adorned with sculpted limestone figures and bright paintings of gods and monsters.

But when the caves caught the interest of the international art market in the early 1900s, many of the artifacts were removed or badly damaged. Acid rain has eroded what remains.
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July 25, 2005

Early Day Motion on the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:03 pm in Elgin Marbles

Eddie O’Hara MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in parliament about the Parthenon Marbles. EDMs are a way in which members of parliament can both gauge the level of support for proposals. Eddie O’Hara has long been a supporter of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

Parliamentary Information Management Web Site

Early Day Motion
EDM 665

O’Hara, Edward

That this House is aware that the Parthenon sculptures currently displayed in the Elgin collection in the British Museum are integral architectural components of the Parthenon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Read the rest of this entry »

July 24, 2005

The destruction of Babylon following the Gulf war

Posted at 5:52 pm in Similar cases

The looting from Greece & Egypt has been going on over the course of centuries. Much of it was at the time behaviour that was deemed acceptable by many & it is only in recent years that it has been seen as a major problem. In Iraq however, operating within the context of current values, the destruction & looting of antiquities continues on a daily basis, robbing the country of its history.

It is interesting now, how the very institutions in the west whose collections contain many items looted in the past can be critical of the modern day looting without any pause for reflection on the issues surrounding their own artefacts.

Asia Times

Middle East
Jul 9, 2005
The smash of civilizations
By Chalmers Johnson

Note from Tom Engelhardt, editor of Tomdispatch: The World Monuments Fund has placed Iraq on its list of the Earth’s 100 most endangered sites, the first time that a whole nation has been listed. The destruction began as Baghdad fell. First, there was the looting of the National Museum. That took care of some of the earliest words on clay, including, possibly, cuneiform tablets with missing parts of the epic of Gilgamesh. Soon after, the great libraries and archives of the capital went up in flames and books, letters, government documents, ancient Korans and religious manuscripts stretching back centuries vanished forever. Read the rest of this entry »

July 22, 2005

Israel plans official looting of Palestinian artefacts for “protection”

Posted at 9:33 pm in Similar cases

It appears that as Israel withdraws from Gaza they plan on taking many artefacts with them. The justification for this is that they will be better looked after, a reasoning that is bad enough when post-rationalised by the British Museum, but is even worse when it is planned as a strategy today, with no regard for the wishes of the owners of the artefacts.

Jerusalem Post

Jul. 21, 2005 1:08 | Updated Jul. 21, 2005 15:49
Palestinians: Israel to steal artifacts
Palestinian archaeologists say they fear that when Israel withdraws from Gaza it will also take priceless archeological artifacts. Israeli officials have acknowledged this is a possibility.

A military installation in the northwestern tip of the Gaza Strip surrounds a sixth century Byzantine church, discovered in 1999 by an Israeli archaeologist. The well-preserved 1,461-year-old church, which measures 13 by 25 meters, has three large and colorful mosaics with floral-motifs and geometric shapes. Nearby is a Byzantine hot bath and artificial fishponds.
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The modernising of Britain’s museums

Posted at 5:17 pm in British Museum

The British Government recently produced a report, that amongst other things highlighted how a large proportion of the collections of many museums in Britain is hidden from the public. The report also suggests that museum’s should be more willing to lend items from their collections to other museums.
This article looks at how some museums are choosing to deal with the overcrowding problems by making their entire collection more accessible.

Haaretz (Israel)

Fri., July 22, 2005 Tamuz 15, 5765
Israel Time: 02:50 (EST+7)
Underground art
By David Rapp

One of Britain’s most important art collections had a rather sweet beginning, even if today’s reductive economic perspective might prompt some observers to see its story as being mainly about money. In the middle of the 19th century, Henry Tate went into the sugar business. A few years later he bought the rights to a revolutionary patent for cutting large chunks of sugar into small cubes. The sugar cubes made Tate a rich man, and he could soon afford to leave Liverpool and settle in London. Among his other investments, Tate cultivated an art collection, mainly of contemporary paintings. Having first displayed the collection in his spacious London home, he proposed toward the end of his life to leave it to the nation. To his surprise, the response he received hinted that the national collection was already full enough without his 65 works.
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July 21, 2005

30 years of restoration work on Acropolis

Posted at 12:56 pm in Acropolis

Apparently the reason for Tatoulis’s visit to the Acropolis yesterday was to mark the fact the it was 30 years since the current phase of restoration works on the site started.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Acropolis on course
Major phase of facelift to be ready by next year, along with museum

Workers use a crane to shift a marble fragment on the Acropolis in central Athens as part of a conservation project that Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis said yesterday would be largely completed by the end of next year. The ancient citadel is home to some of the best examples of Classical Greek architecture and the Parthenon, seen in the background, will be the last monument to be renovated as work on it is to continue after 2006. The entire project is likely to be ready by 2020, according to Tatoulis.
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More on the Acropolis restoration completion dates

Posted at 12:38 pm in Acropolis

Many papers have an AP article today, giving more details of the expected completion of the Acropolis restoration project that Petros Tatoulis spoke about yesterday.

The Guardian

Acropolis Facelifts Near Finish in Greece
Wednesday July 20, 2005 6:46 PM
AP Photo ATH103
Associated Press Writer

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – For years, tourists to the Acropolis have been frustrated to find ancient monuments shrouded in scaffolding, thanks to a long and painstaking restoration project. Now, an end is in sight.

Greek cultural officials said Wednesday that work on the Parthenon, the Athena Nike temple and the massive Propylaea gate – treasures built in the mid-fifth century B.C. at the height of Athenian glory – should be finished by the end of next year.
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July 20, 2005

Acropolis restoration to complete by end of 2006

Posted at 6:01 pm in Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum

The Deputy Culture Minister of the Hellenic Republic Petros Tatoulis anounced today that he expects the work on the Acropolis restoration to end by late 2006. He also anticipates that the New Acropolis Museum will complete at around the same time (which is what its current deadline is, assuming that the problems with the contractors unpaid taxes do not delay it further.)

Athens News Agency

Wednesday 20, July 2005
Deputy culture minister Tatoulis: Restoration work on Acropolis to be completed by end-2006

Deputy culture minister Petros Tatoulis said Wednesday that restoration and other work on the Acropolis would be completed by the end of 2006, keeping with the relevant timetables.
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July 19, 2005

Getty curator on trial over stolen artefacts

Posted at 9:46 pm in Similar cases

The trial in the Italian courts of Getty curator Marion True started this week, but was then postponed after an initial hearing. True denies all charges & the Getty supports her in this assertion.


Getty curator on trial in Rome in stolen art case
18 Jul 2005 13:14:21 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Shasta Darlington

ROME, July 18 (Reuters) – The curator of antiquities at California’s respected J. Paul Getty Museum went on trial in Rome on Monday accused of receiving stolen artefacts in a case closely watched by the international art world.

After a decade-long investigation, Italian prosecutors charged Marion True, who has been with the Getty for over 20 years, of criminal conspiracy to receive stolen goods and illegal receipt of archaeological artefacts.
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Acropolis panoramas

Posted at 5:50 pm in Acropolis

Panoramic views using QuicktimeVR or the various Java based viewers available realy help people to get an understanding of how different parts of a site connect together if they have not been there. giving you the impression that you are really there & looking around it.
Some time ago I created a number of panoramic views of the Parthenon, but have not yet had time to add the to this site. has recently added a page with 9 different panoramic views of the Acropolis. Particularly if you have never had the chance to visit Athens, it will give you a much clearer idea of what it feels like to stand on the Acropolis. There are also a lot of other panoramas of Athens & other parts of Greece on the site.