Showing results 13 - 21 of 21 for the month of January, 2007.

January 21, 2007

Greek museum visitor figures increases

Posted at 1:47 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

The number of people visiting Greece’s museums has increased again during the last year. As the article highlights, this trend is set to be given a huge boost by the imminent opening of the New Acropolis Museum.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Saturday January 20, 2007
Visitors flock to museums

The number of visitors to museums and archaeological sites last year likely reached a record high of more than 10 million, officials said yesterday as they revealed an imminent –1 billion investment program.

The Culture Ministry said that the number of people visiting ancient sites rose by 9.2 percent in 2006 from 2005. Visitors to museums went up by 7.4 percent.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 18, 2007

Students restore casts of Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 1:38 pm in Acropolis

The College of Staten Island are no the only institution in the US who are getting their students to help restore casts of the Parthenon Sculptures. Hopefully the students involvement will also lead to them finding out more about the circumstances of the acquisition of the originals.

Daily Toreador (Student newspaper of Texas Tech University in Lubbock)

Tech students restore Parthenon casts
Anne M. Shepherd
Issue date: 1/17/07 Section: La Vida

Gilbert Jones, a senior art history major from Lubbock, and Megan Grann, a senior art history and French major from Arlington, have had their hands full this year. Not only are they both honors students preparing to graduate in May, but they also have been working on a project to restore eight casts for display in the Art Building on the Texas Tech campus. Grann and Jones were both well-suited for the project; their concentrations lay in the fields of Pre-Columbian art history and Mediaeval art history, respectively.

Janis Elliott, an art history professor, directed the project, which began in September.

Elliott said at first nobody really knew anything about the casts, including where they came from and how old they were. Thus, when Jones and Grann began the process of restoring the casts, they had their work cut out for them.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 16, 2007

Looted African art in Britain

Posted at 1:30 pm in Similar cases

Many African nations are desperately trying to reclaim their cultural artefacts. Museums are fighting back though wherever possible to try & prevent restitutions occurring.

Black Information Link

Brits African loot is an art-rage!
by Lester Holloway

OUR NAMES and genealogy were taken away by slavery, but the scramble for art has also removed important pieces of Africa’s historical jigsaw.

It’s exactly a decade since the legendary late MP Bernie Grant challenged the British Museum over its looted artefacts, and demanded their return.

His efforts were rebuffed by an arts establishment playing “finders keepers.”
Read the rest of this entry »

January 10, 2007

How the Egyptian artefacts ended up in the British Museum

Posted at 1:24 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A new book looks at the stories behind the serendipitous circumstances behind the acquisitions of many of the ancient Egyptian artefacts in the British Museum’s collection.

The Independent

9 January 2007 22:27
CHICAGO £20 £20 (P&P FREE) 08700 798 897
Wondrous Curiosities: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum, by Stephanie Moser
Why the Pharaoh smiled
By Nicola Smyth
Published: 07 January 2007

An Egyptian academic once took me on a tour of the British Museum, directing me around the galleries of antiquities and telling me what had been stolen from where. The histories of many of the best museum collections are filled with shameful episodes, and Stephanie Moser’s fascinating study exposes to public view some very unedifying spectacles.

Wondrous Curiosities is the story of the early life of our national treasure-house and its relationship with some of its best-known exhibits. The British Museum opened its doors in 1759, and held initially just 160 items from ancient Egypt. Its early incarnation was as a vast cabinet of curiosities in which Egyptian mummies were displayed alongside other objects such as Oliver Cromwell’s watch and a picture painted on a cobweb. Visitors had to apply in writing for tickets; 10 per hour were available, and only the well-connected would gain entry. There were few if any labels and visitors were hurried through by ill-informed guides. Nevertheless, the sights impressed. A 12-year-old visitor, John Coltman, wrote to his brother in 1780: “First we saw the Egyptians that had been dead 3,000 years ago. Next we saw the skull of an elephant, and the Queen of Otaheite’s hat, the crown big enough to hold you, and the brim of it not much unlike the mat that lies at the bottom of our stairs.”
Read the rest of this entry »

January 9, 2007

Is it vulgar for a museum to lend out its collection

Posted at 10:30 pm in Similar cases

I have often argued that in todays world it makes a lot of sense for museums to be able to share their collections with other institutions, to develop reciprocal agreements & to generally encourage a more free flow of cooperation between them.
It would appear though that certain sectors of the Parisian elite believe that this is entirely the wrong thing for institutions such as the Louvre to be involved in.
In many ways though, it is good that it is possible to have such an argument now, as it is not long ago that the situations would not have existed to have started such discussions in the first place.

The Times

January 08, 2007
Purists vilify Louvre over ‘vulgar’ plan to lease out masterpieces
Adam Sage in Paris

Leading figures from the French art world have accused the Louvre of cultural prostitution for signing a multimillion-pound deal to exhibit works in Atlanta and negotiating a second deal to build a branch of the museum in Abu Dhabi.

Critics say that the Louvre is being turned into a vulgar brand name to fill state coffers.

The row pits purists, who believe that art must stand high above politics or business, against modernisers, who say that globalisation requires a new approach to cultural values. In the latest salvo, senior curators and art critics have launched a petition denouncing the Government of President Chirac for authorising France’s museums to rent out their collections.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 5, 2007

Fresh claims on artefacts in the Getty

Posted at 10:10 pm in Similar cases

Any hopes that the Getty might have been having that 2007 would be a better year for them than 2006 with regards to restitution claims are probably rapidly vanishing.
With all of the disputed artefacts in their collection, they claim that they were originally purchased in good faith. New evidence now seems to suggest that they had been warned off some of their more dubious acquisitions right from the outset though.

The Guardian

Fresh claims fuel row over Getty’s ‘stolen’ antiquities
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Thursday January 4, 2007
The Guardian

The Getty museum, repository of some of the finest antiquities in the world, yesterday discounted charges it had traded in plundered art by acquiring the 2,400-year-old statue that is the jewel of its collection.

The furore over looted antiquities at the Getty comes at a difficult time for the Los Angeles museum, which last year saw a former curator and an executive of its trust charged with theft.
Read the rest of this entry »

In pursuit of Egypt’s lost mummies

Posted at 7:19 pm in Similar cases

In part of his concerted efforts to stir up most of the global archaeological community, Zahi Hawass is again sending out warnings to countries who are not explicitly cooperating with his demands to stop the trade in looted Egyptian antiquities.
It is worth actually going to the web link below, as there is a poll on that page where you can place your vote on who has the more legitimate claims to looted artefacts.

Christian Science Monitor

Arts & Entertainment>Art
from the January 04, 2007 edition
In hot pursuit of Egypt’s lost mummies

A recovery campaign has sparked debate over objects that museums acquired before a 1970 tightening of the antiquities trade.
By Sarah Gauch | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
CAIRO – Zahi Hawass is one part celebrity, one part investigator. Egypt’s lead sleuth in the country’s hunt to reclaim ancient antiquities has gained a reputation for often strong-arming curators and bullying museum directors. But while he’s attracted critics in his hunt for Egypt’s mummies and pharaonic masks, his hard-nosed techniques are indeed paying off.

Mr. Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, has recovered some 3,500 objects, including the Ramses I mummy from Atlanta’s Michael C. Carlos Museum and an ancient sarcophagus from the chairperson of Chicago’s electric utility, Exelon.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 4, 2007

Dorothy King’s book on the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 7:09 pm in Elgin Marbles

Selby Whittingham, a former curator at the Manchester Gallery and an art historian writes in an email (published here with his permission) about the many inaccuracies & misunderstandings in Dorothy King’s book The Elgin Marbles.

Selby Whittingham

Dorothy King mounts a defence of the retention of the Marbles in her book (Hutchinson 2006). Her strongest argument is that their conservation is better assured in Britain than in Greece, but she concedes that may change.

A key argument of the British Museum she dismisses. “…the emphasis put on the concept of the universal museum suggests that great works cannot be appreciated on their own, but rather need to be put in a historical, chronological context. This supposes that, say, the frescoes in Saint Marco in Florence cannot be appreciated as well in the monastery for which they were created as they could be in a myseum stuck between French, Flemish and Impressionsit paintings, that Notre Dame in Paris cannot be appreciated on its own, needing a ‘context’ created artificially by surrounding it with items from different civilisations.”
Read the rest of this entry »

New Acropolis Museum reveals ancient treasures

Posted at 7:06 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Helena Smith writes about the progress of the New Acropolis Museum. As well as the building itself, she focuses on the huge number of artefacts that were discovered on the site of the museum itself during its construction.

The Guardian

£94m Acropolis museum reveals ancient treasures
Helena Smith in Athens
Tuesday January 2, 2007
The Guardian

Like many treasures from antiquity, they were chance finds, but a fabulous hoard of more than 50,000 pieces unearthed during excavations in Athens has also provided a window on to the ancient civilisation of Greece. The treasure trove, discovered during excavations to build the New Acropolis Museum in the capital, includes relics ranging from a near perfectly preserved marble bust of Aristotle to cooking utensils, children’s games and figurines of little known deities.
Read the rest of this entry »