Showing results 13 - 24 of 32 for the month of September, 2006.

September 19, 2006

Heidelberg fragment return & possible implications

Posted at 12:41 pm in Elgin Marbles

Athens News looks at the details of the return of the Heidelberg fragment of the Parthenon frieze. This is the most in depth coverage of the handover in the English Language press so far.

Athens News

No. 13199
Parthenon fragment returns home
Handed over to Greece by Heidelberg University, the small marble pieceraises hopes for the repatriation of the Marbles collection kept at the British Museum in London

A PALM-SIZED marble fragment detached from the Parthenon was handed over to Greece on September 4 by the Heidelberg University’s Museum of Antiquities. The small piece, measuring 8 by 12 centimetres, is the first section from the 2,500-year-old monument to return to its place of origin after an absence of almost 150 years. The highly symbolic gesture has raised the Greek government’s hopes over the long – and for decades fruitless – campaign for the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles displayed at the British Museum in London.

“This is a new page in a previously deadlocked debate concerning the return of the entirety of the Parthenon sculptures from museums abroad,” said Culture Minister George Voulgarakis on September 5, presenting the recovered piece to the press at the old Acropolis Museum. “Though the best known example of a foreign institution holding on to Parthenon antiquities is that of the British Museum – the so-called Elgin Marbles were removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century – fragments from the 5th-century BC temple, dedicated to goddess of wisdom Athena and regarded as the peak of ancient Greek architecture, are kept in the Louvre, the Vatican as well as smaller museums in Palermo, Vienna, Copenhagen, Munich and Wurzburg.”
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September 16, 2006

The problem of artefact trafficking

Posted at 12:40 pm in Similar cases

An anthropologist in the Illinois has been working with a Kenyan family to secure the return of religious artefacts to them. She says that this is only the tip of the problem though & that African artefacts are still being stolen today & then sold to buyers in the US.

Central Illinois Pantagraph

Thursday, September 14, 2006 2:43 PM CDT
Anthropologist: Artifact trafficking still a problem
By Michele Steinbacher

SPRINGFIELD – Normal anthropologist Linda Giles, who played a key role in helping a Kenyan family get its religious artifact back, says trafficking in stolen such artifacts continues to be a global problem.

In the last decade, she and University of Kentucky anthropologist Monica Udvardy have found more than 350 vigango in about 20 U.S. institutions, including the Illinois State Museum, Hampton University in Virginia, Indiana University and San Diego University.
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September 15, 2006

Has the British Museum “set the standard” for restitution?

Posted at 1:20 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Following on from comments about the lack of cooperation from the Natural History Museum, the British Museum is now being praised by Aboriginal groups as having set the standard for repatriation.
It is a shame that the British Museum currently refuses to consider that other instances could also be seen as special cases in addition to those which involve human remains (& possibly in the near future, those which involve Nazi loot).

SBS news (Australia)

Tasmanian ash bundles returned
15.9.2006. 17:13:34

Tasmania’s last two surviving Aboriginal cremation ash bundles have been returned to the state after more than a century in London’s British Museum.

The return of the artefacts is being hailed as a victory for the repatriation of human remains from overseas museums.
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Exhibition about looted Greek antiquities

Posted at 1:14 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

The exhibition about looted heritage which was previously on display in Cyprus has now moved to the Benaki Museum in Athens.
This is a Reuters syndicated article which appeared in many newspapers around the world.

From: (UAE)

Published: 09/15/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)
Exhibition reveals secrets of antiquities smuggling

Athens: Having fought for decades to recover its stolen ancient treasures, Greece is now hosting an exhibition exposing the secrets of antiquities smuggling past and present.

Sepia photographs of 18th century European aristocrats posing proudly next to looted ancient art may startle visitors to the Benaki Museum, but the show “History Lost” is not just a stroll through the past.
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September 14, 2006

Is the Natural History Museum cooperating over Aboriginal remains?

Posted at 12:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Reports earlier in the week suggested that while the British Museum had agreed to return Aboriginal remains, the Natural History Museum was not being so cooperative.
The Natural History Museum disagrees with these allegations – however, they have still not even given the most basic information such as the total number of items in their collection which involve Aboriginal human remains.
It is worth noting that on this particular issue the British Museum has been unusually cooperative – however it could be argued that Aboriginal remains do not represent such a major part of their collection, nor do they fit so much within the core focus of the museum’s collection.

ABC News (Australia)

Last Update: Wednesday, September 13, 2006. 7:00pm (AEST)
Museum ‘still deciding’ on Indigenous remains’ return

A museum in Britain has dismissed reports it has refused to give back the remains of Tasmanian Aborigines.

Two delegates from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre are in the UK, where they have collected the ashes of two of their forebears from the British Museum.
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September 12, 2006

Natural History Museum will not return Aboriginal remains

Posted at 12:51 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Following the publicity last week surrounding the return of artefacts to Tasmanian Aboriginals by the British Museum, there were hopes that other museums in the UK would follow this example. It appears though, that the Natural History (originally a part of the British Museum, but now a separate institution in its own right) is unwilling to follow this example & return any pieces from its own more extensive collection of human remains of Aboriginal origin. Most of the remains under discussion are not on public display in the Museum, so can only be seen with special permission.

The Australian

Source: AAP
Brits ‘unwilling to return Aboriginal remains’
By Robyn Grace
September 12, 2006

BRITAIN’S Natural History Museum appears unwilling to return Aboriginal remains collected in Tasmania in the 1800s, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre said today.

Centre spokesman Michael Mansell now wants Prime Minister John Howard to apply diplomatic pressure to have British law amended to make the return of human remains compulsory.
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Greece loans antiquities to the British Museum

Posted at 12:44 pm in British Museum, Greece Archaeology

The Greek government has agreed to lend the British Museum a large number of antiquities from the Heraklion Museum on Crete. The treasures will be lent during a period of major refurbishment of the museum during which it would have been closed to the public anyway. Greece is hoping that public displays of cooperation with the British Museum will highlight the fact that unlike some countries, the Greeks have always dealt with the case of the Elgin marbles separately from other archaeological issues. They are hoping that increased cooperation with the British Museum will lead to the possibility of serious discussions with the museum about the Parthenon Sculptures in their collection.
This current cooperation is an example to the British Museum of how resolving their differences with Greece could be beneficial to the museum in the future.

Middle East Times (Egypt)

Friday, September 8, 2006
Greece to loan Minoan antiquities to British Museum
September 8, 2006

ATHENS — Greece has agreed to loan London’s British Museum a collection of priceless Minoan-era antiquities for an exhibition to be held by 2009, the Greek culture ministry has said.

Among antiquities on display will be the renowned bull-leaping frescoes from the Minoan palace of Knossos, Crete, a 3,700-year-old site excavated by British archaeologist Arthur Evans in the early 20th century.
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Heidelberg frieze fragment return & its implications for the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 12:36 pm in Elgin Marbles

The Discovery Channel has a piece about the return of the Heidelberg fragment of the Parthenon Frieze last week, covering not only the return, but what effect it might have on the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

Discovery Channel

Parthenon Piece Returned to Greece
Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

Sept. 7, 2006 — One of the oldest international cultural disputes, the battle over fragments taken from Greece’s Parthenon, has resurfaced with the return of a small fragment of the ancient monument by a German University.

The fragment consisted of a foot, carved from marble. It was taken nearly 200 years ago from the northern frieze of the the 5th century BC Parthenon. Its return to Greece on Monday was hailed by Greek officials as an important step toward the return of other fragments, many of which are kept at the British Museum in London.
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September 7, 2006

British Museum offers to help Iran retrieve clay tablets

Posted at 1:11 pm in Similar cases

More details of the British Museum’s offer to help the Iranians in their case to stop the sale of impounded looted artefacts in the US.


British Museum will help retrieve clay tablets
Thursday, September 07, 2006 – ©2005

LONDON, September 7 (IranMania) – Director of British Museum said in a meeting with the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei that the museum is ready to extend full cooperation in retrieving Iranian clay tablets from the US, which were give on loan to Chicago University.

According to IRNA, Neil MacGregor added that the British Museum has submitted a detailed letter to the university about ancient objects, which were confiscated on the ruling of a US federal court.
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The issue of provenance

Posted at 1:05 pm in Similar cases

Minerva Magazine looks at how increased awareness of the importance of Provenance has affected art auctions in recent years. Despite some interesting points, the overall theme of the article seems slightly odd, as it appears to be based on the conjecture that equates stamping out dealing with looted art as being the same as having no private ownership of artefacts. This seems to me to be a completely spurious allegation which detracts from the actual discussion of the importance of provenance in art dealing. From the tone of other comments though, it would appear that the article’s author would prefer it if far less importance was attached to provenance.

Minerva Magazine

On the issue of antiquities provenance

Now that the issue of provenance has become such a dominant factor in the several campaigns against private collecting (such as those conducted by the Illicit Antiquities Centre in Cambridge, England, over the past few years) the auction houses of Britain and the United States have started to divulge substantial information that had previously remained confidential. This includes the names of many consignees and their original sources, such as previous auctions and even dealers. Until very recently it was not their policy to publish – and therefore publicise – the names of dealers still in business that were, in effect, their competitors as well as their clients. On the contrary it used to be standard practice in Britain to publish the names of all of all buyers, who were then predominantly dealers, in their printed results issued after the sales. Presently, in some cases, especially in England, this practice of ?full disclosure? borders on the extreme, and is taken too far especially where objects of little value are concerned.
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New seven wonders campaign in Athens

Posted at 12:56 pm in Acropolis

The campaign to select a modern day Seven Wonders of the World has visited the Acropolis in Athens, the first of 21 sites that they will visit over coming months.

The Peninsula (Qatar)

Countdown to select world wonders
Web posted at: 9/7/2006 4:6:45
Source ::: IANS

athens – With the launch of a hot-air balloon over the ancient Acropolis, the campaign to select the new seven wonders of the world reached its final countdown in Athens. More than 2,200 years after the naming of the seven wonders of the ancient world, people across the planet are to be given the chance to choose the new seven wonders. All structures built or discovered before the year 2000 are eligible.
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Tasmanian artefact returns hoped to be the first of many

Posted at 12:53 pm in Similar cases

A few days ago, two packages of cremations ash were returned to Tasmania by the British Museum.
In statements following the return, Tasmanian Aboriginal representatives have said that there are still other cases that they are pursuing for the return of other relics. Changes to Britain’s laws allowed museums to return human remains, but in no way obliged to museums to deal with such requests. The Natural History Museum for instance has so far ignored all such requests it has received from Tasmania.

ABC News (Australia)

Last Update: Wednesday, September 6, 2006. 10:00am (AEST)
Campaign for Indigenous remains’ return continues

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) is continuing its fight to secure the release of the remains of Indigenous people from museums, after its success in London this week.

Ashes held at the British Museum since the 1830s were officially handed over to two TAC delegates, after a long battle with authorities.
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