Showing results 25 - 35 of 35 for the month of March, 2006.

March 9, 2006

New Zealand parliamentary committee says Parthenon Marbles should be returned

Posted at 12:43 pm in Elgin Marbles

The foreign affairs select committee in New Zealand’s parliament has recently examined the case of the Elgin Marbles as a result of a petition by those in New Zealand who were concerned about the case. The committee recommended: “That the Government ask the British Government to consider sympathetically the generous Greek offer of joint ownership of the marbles to facilitate their return to Athens.”

Stuff (New Zealand)

Return the Elgin marbles to Greece says parliamentary committee
08 March 2006
By Ian Llewellyn

A cross-party parliamentary committee has waded into one of the world’s longest-running and most controversial diplomatic disputes, urging the Government to ask Britain to return the Elgin marbles to Greece.

The foreign affairs select committee said yesterday it had completed consideration of a petition from Bruce Blades and 1020 others urging the Government to push for the marbles’ return.
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March 8, 2006

Archaeologists examine Acropolis for erosion

Posted at 12:38 pm in Acropolis

As part of the ongoing restoration problem on the Acropolis, a team of experts have been surveying the walls of the monument to see if water seepage is causing any damage. It is interesting to note that the surface of the Acropolis that we see today is the result of excavations – originally the ground was higher in many areas.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Tuesday March 7, 2006
Acropolis mountain climbing

Archaeologists carrying out conservation work on Greece’s most prized monument have hit on a new extreme sport, one unlikely to feature in visitor tours anytime soon — rappeling down the walls of the Acropolis, the ancient citadel overlooking Athens.

Part of an operation to determine the condition of the walls — which are over 2,300 years old — the stunt teamed conservation experts with veteran mountaineers enlisted to place electrode sensors on the citadel’s southern side, a senior archaeologist said on Sunday.
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March 6, 2006

Peru claims that Yale officials are not acting in good faith

Posted at 11:20 pm in Similar cases

More information on Peru’s attempts to secure the return of Inca artefacts currently held by Yale university, but officially lent to them for only eighteen months in 1916.

The Scotsman

Sun 5 Mar 2006
Peru to sue Yale for Inca treasure ‘theft’

PERU plans to sue Yale University to recover thousands of artefacts excavated from Machu Picchu more than 90 years ago.

The South American country is seeking the return of some 4,900 artefacts from the Inca citadel, including ceramics, cloths and metalwork.
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The Parthenon in Poetry

Posted at 1:53 pm in Elgin Marbles

To mark the handover of the archives of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles to Kings College London, an event has been organised looking at the representations of the Parthenon through poetry & how these have evolved through the ages. Some of the poems were written in English originally, others have been translated & some will be read in Greek.
The archives represent a catalogue of work done by the BCRPM over the course of more than twenty years.
(Note that the BCRPM is still very much an active organisation – the archives are merely historic data that there was no longer the space to store.)

Hellenic Foundation for Culture (UK)

The Parthenon in Poetry
In association with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and
Marbles Reunited: the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

Monday 6 March 2006, 7.00pm
The Great Hall, Strand Campus
King’s College London
Strand, London WC2R 2LS
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March 5, 2006

Is Turkey doing too little to retrieve its artefacts?

Posted at 10:50 pm in Similar cases

A while ago I posted this interview with Atilla Koc, the Turkish Minister of Culture. Since then, it appears that the original interviewer Nursun Erel saw the elements of her interview which I quoted, which has prompted her to reflect on the problems facing Turkeys restitution claims, the greatest of which is a government that is to willing to avoid making the effort to pursue the claims.
Whilst this may be the case, there are at least people within the country who understand that the problem exists & feel that something should be done about it. This is a positive beginning which will hopefully improve as time goes on.

(Article has previously posted as a comment on the original post)
The New Anatolian

The Elgin Marbles and the Great Altar of Pergamon
Nursun Erel

Even though it’s early on a bright spring-like day, I feel pessimistic. I’ll share with you the reasons why.

Recently I noticed that part of my interview with Culture and Tourism Minister Atilla Koc is posted on a Greek website ( I know what you’re going to say, “What’s wrong with that? You should be happy.”
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British Museum lends treasures to China

Posted at 10:35 pm in Similar cases

Last September the British Museum agreed to exchanging loans of archaeological artefacts. An exhibition has opened at the new Capital Museum of Beijing, which represents the first example of this collaboration.
Many people are asking questions though, regarding the various Chinese treasures held in the British Museums collections which are carefully ignored by this current exhibition.

The Guardian

UK to lend world treasures to China
No Chinese artefacts in exchange as questions over ownership remain
Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Friday March 3, 2006
The Guardian

The British Museum will try to avoid a diplomatic minefield later this month when it lends 272 of its most precious artefacts to the Capital Museum of Beijing in one of the highest level cultural exchanges between the two countries.

None of the items in the Treasures of the World’s Culture collection will be Chinese because many people in Beijing refuse to recognise British claims to porcelain, statues and books they say were acquired by imperial force.
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The looting of vigango totems

Posted at 10:00 pm in Similar cases

Whilst African countries argue for the return of artefacts looted in the nineteenth century, such as the Benin Bronzes, modern day looting is taking memorial totems from Kenyan villages, many of which are finding their way into museums in the USA. Kenyan officials suggest that a change in the law is necessary to deter poor villagers from being convinced into selling these totems to wealthy collectors.

Christian Science Monitor

From the March 02, 2006 edition
Theft of sacred vigango angers Kenyan villagers
The memorial totems are increasingly being stolen to fuel Western demand for African art.
By Mike Pflanz | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
MOMBASA, KENYA – Corrupt middlemen contracted by Western art dealers are looting sacred memorial statuettes carved by villagers living along Kenya’s coast.

Hundreds of vigango totems have been stolen from rural homesteads and shipped via dealers living in luxury beachside villas to private collectors and art dealers in the United States and Europe, anthropologists have discovered.
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Global solution for restitution needed

Posted at 9:50 pm in Similar cases

Following the agreement by the Metropolitan Museum to return the Euphronios Krater & the court case against former Getty curator Marion True, this article tables the idea that what is really required is a more complete global solution to the problems of looted artefacts in museums – a framework within which decisions can be made, rather than individual curators flying round the world trying to negotiate individual compromises on each separate case.

Opinion Journal

Truth in Booty
Coming–and staying–clean.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

No Keatsian “bride of quietness,” the world’s most notorious Grecian urn created a commotion from the moment it was secretly unearthed in Italy. The return of the urn (more properly called the Euphronios “calyx krater”) is now scheduled for 2008, under an agreement signed last week by Italian cultural officials and Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which bought it in 1972.

Michael Brand, the new director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, is also negotiating with the Italians, who have brought criminal charges against Marion True, his museum’s former antiquities curator. A senior Getty official, requesting anonymity, said the museum hopes these negotiations will have a “positive impact” on Ms. True’s legal woes, in addition to resolving the ownership status of objects in the Getty’s collection.
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March 3, 2006

How should museums deal with stolen art

Posted at 1:50 pm in Similar cases

Transcript of an interview on the return of the Euphronios Krater, with the director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston & the director of the Cultural Heritage Law Department at the DePaul University.

PBS news

February 28, 2006

Many museums are finding themselves having to make deals with foreign governments over the display and ownership of stolen and disputed artwork.

JEFFREY BROWN: In Rome last week, an unusual accord was reached, some 2500 years in the making. The director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum, one of the world’s great collections of art, agreed to return a trove of antiquities that Italian authorities say had been taken from the country illegally.

The Met’s Philippe de Montebello:

PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO (Feb. 21): The good faith in the which both sides have entered into this agreement, an agreement that from our point of view corrects a number of improprieties and errors committed in the past, will pave the road to new legal and ethical norms for the future. It will encourage, we believe, further reciprocal action in every cultural and artistic sphere.
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March 2, 2006

Could the Euphronios Krater set a precedent for Pergamon?

Posted at 2:02 pm in Similar cases

The Turkish Daily News argues that the return of the Euphronios Krater by the Met could set a precedent for the return of artefacts in foreign museums taken from sites within Turkey. They also point out that the concept of long term loans of other artefacts in response to the restitution of another was one originally proposed by Greece as a solution to the Elgin Marbles didpute. Whereas the British Museum has buried its head in the sand though, the Met realised that the problem was not one that was going to disappear if they just ignored it & so they took steps to resolve the dispute instead.

Turkish Daily News

The Euphronios vase case – could it be an example for Pergamon?
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Ariana Ferentinou

At the center is the dead Sarpedon, the son of Zeus who allied with the Trojans during the Trojan War. Standing behind him is the god Hermes, the carrier of good and bad messages. On one side stands Death and on the other Sleep, depicted as two winged strong men who are about to carry the dead hero to his native Lykia for burial. This is a scene from Homer’s Iliad. Somewhere on the surface of this large size vase, 45 centimeters in height, the artists have left their signatures: Euxitheos produced it, Euphronios painted it.
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March 1, 2006

Met director unrepentant about Euphronios Krater

Posted at 10:00 pm in Similar cases

Metropolitan Museum director, Philippe de Montebello still seems confused about the reasons for the return of the artefact. Following years of requests by the Italian Government & an overwhelming body of evidence suggesting that the piece was looted he finally agreed to return it. He still gives the impression though of someone who was told by his board of governors to return it & does not entirely understand why he has to.
Perhaps most telling is that statement that they began serious negotiations eventually leading to the return because: they realised that the problem would not go away. Note that there is no concept here of doing it because it was in any way considered to be the right thing. The reason for the return was because it appeared to be the best way out from an awkward situation that was straining the museum’s relations with Italy. This website takes an interesting look at these problems inherent with many museums.
In many ways though, this view still puts them way ahead of the British Museum. Although the case of the Elgin Marbles has been raised at regular intervals for the last 200 years, the museum still appears hopeful that if they completely ignore it then eventually the Greeks will forget about it & stop bothering them about it. History would suggest that this is unlikely to happen though until the museum is willing to get involved in serious negotiations.

New York Times

February 28, 2006
Met Chief, Unbowed, Defends Museum’s Role

It’s not the kind of reception museum officials normally give one another, but when Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, addressed his fellow museum directors this month at a meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla., he was treated to a standing ovation.

In the weeks since the Met announced a landmark agreement with Italy for the return of close to two dozen prized Classical antiquities, Mr. de Montebello has been hailed as the man in the white hat for his willingness to part with some of the museum’s finest treasures in the face of evidence that they were probably looted.
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