Showing results 13 - 24 of 26 for the month of February, 2007.

February 6, 2007

More on the requests for restitution of pagan bones

Posted at 11:22 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Further coverage of the request by pagan groups for the return of bones held in Britain’s museums.

The Guardian

Give us back our bones, pagans tell museums
· British curators asked to relinquish relics
· Scientists fight to save link to pre-Christian peoples
James Randerson, science correspondent
Monday February 5, 2007
The Guardian

British museums have become used to requests that foreign treasures be repatriated. Greece has persistently requested the return of the Parthenon marbles, while some administrators have agreed to return the remains of Australian Aborigines. Now the pressure is coming from closer to home.

British pagan groups are increasingly asking for human remains and grave goods from pre-Christian burials to be returned to them as well. The presence of what they see as their ancestors in dusty drawers or under harsh display lights is an affront to their religion. To them, the bones are living beings, whose existence is bound up with their religious descendants and the sacred land.
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Pagans call for return of bones

Posted at 11:18 am in British Museum, Similar cases

British Pagan groups are arguing for the return of pagan bones in Britain’s museums. Whilst their arguments are not without merit, there are issues in that the bones have remained in the UK throughout, so arguments about them being removed from their homeland / culture do not really apply. Furthermore, I think most would argue that the connection between modern day British pagans & those whose bones are under discussion is at best tenuous.


History News
Pagans call for return of bones

Calls from pagans and druids in Britain are growing for ancient remains to be taken out of museum displays.
Pagans in Britain are calling for the return of human remains and artefacts excavated from pre-Christian graves in the UK.

Treasures from a number of countries, such as the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum, are under dispute and the Natural History Museum and Manchester Museum recently agreed to return the remains of Australian Aborigines to their place of origin.
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Mary Beard on the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 11:14 am in Elgin Marbles

Cambridge classicist & writer Mary Beard writes here about the nature of the arguments surrounding the return of the Elgin Marbles.

Times Online Blogs

February 05, 2007
The Elgin Marbles – and a sentimental journey

Last week this jobbing Classicist visited Shrewsbury to talk to the Friends of Shrewsbury Museum about the Elgin Marbles. This is a subject on which I’m a maverick (or a free-spirit, depending on your point of view), belonging neither to the “send them back” campaign, nor to the “over my dead body” retentionists.

It’s an uncomfortable fence on which to sit, liable to attack by both sides. But most of the arguments usually brought out on this subject seem pretty weak to me. In the red corner: Melina Mercouri (on the stamp) weeping in front of the captured sculptures in the British Museum. In the blue: one of its ex-Directors calling the Greeks “cultural fascists” for wanting them back. Both are cheap tricks.
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February 4, 2007

A history of art crime

Posted at 11:08 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

A new book by Simon Houpt looks at the long & ignominious history of art theft around the world.

The Record (Ontario, Canada)

Imagine an art gallery with only empty spaces
(Feb 3, 2007)
by Simon Houpt
(Key Porter Books, 192 pages, $29.95 hardcover)

Imagine an empty frame on a blank wall in a museum, a wall where a now-stolen work of art used to hang.

Add up the empty spaces on the walls of museums and art galleries around the world and you find yourself in a haunting place, moving through gallery after gallery of wonderful art that is no longer available to you or me. This is Simon Houpt’s Museum of the Missing.

Houpt, who is a New York-based arts writer for The Globe and Mail, presents an engaging story, covering thefts from the art collections of 18th-century aristocratic dilettantes to more recent thefts linked to major drug cartels.
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Should European museums be opening up satellite branches abroad?

Posted at 9:30 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Many in France have tried to challenge the Louvre’s right to start outsourcing some of its assets to museums around the world that it might have partial control over. This article looks at the relevance to Turkey of such arguments.

Zaman (Turkey)

Should European museums open up branches in other countries?
France’s art community has been debating the mobility of its museums’ artifacts.

Archaeologists and historians have been alarmed since the Louvre Museum of Paris initiated opening a branch in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
A campaign with the slogan “Museums are not for sale” has been implemented with national museums opening branches outside of the country. The French press is allotting quite a bit of room to the debates after the Louvre Museum, which has 7.5 million visitors each year, first began a business partnership with the Atlanta Museum in the US followed by its attempts to open a branch in Abu Dhabi.
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February 3, 2007

Artistic impressions of the ancient Acropolis

Posted at 9:26 am in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles

The Acropolis & Parthenon looked very different originally when they were painted in bright colours. A new exhibition helps to highlight this aspect neglected in the past by artists.

India eNews

Greek ancient monuments receive splash of colour
Friday, February 02, 2007

If ancient Greeks could take a walk along the many tourist stalls beneath the ancient Acropolis, they would be amazed to behold the countless marble miniatures of the popular site, all depicted in white.

Archaeologists said many of the ancient ruins looked completely different approximately 2,500 years ago, when the Parthenon was actually covered in brilliant shades of red, blue and green.
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Fate of Iranian tablets in Chicago’s Oriental Institute

Posted at 9:22 am in Similar cases

More on the arguments surrounding Iranian Tablets currently held in Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

Chicago Maroon (Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Chicago)

Iran tablets’ fate remains uncertain
By Lauren Osen
Friday, February 2nd, 2007

The fate of ancient Iranian tablets housed at the Oriental Institute remains unknown after a federal judge declined to rule immediately at a court hearing contesting their ownership.

The Persepolis Fortification tablets, which are on loan to the University from the government of Iran, were to be confiscated and auctioned off to compensate the families of five American victims of a 1997 Hamas bombing at the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem.
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February 2, 2007

The new global museums

Posted at 12:54 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A trend has developing in recent years for Museums to expand beyond their own borders – to be more free about the exhibition of their collections abroad & to recognise the benefits that this increased co-operation can have for them. Some institutions are opening up satellite branches around the world, others are entering into various forms of reciprocal agreements for exchanges & loans. Ideas similar to this have been proposed by by Greece for some time as a solution that could benefit both themselves & the British Museum. So far though, the British Museum have been unwilling to enter into any sort of negotiations on this issue.

New York Sun

February 1, 2007 Edition > Section: Arts and Letters > Printer-Friendly Version
Abu Dhabi Lures Western Museums
February 1, 2007

The future of the art museum may be found not in America or Europe, but in the United Arab Emirates.

Or so it might seem from the planned cultural district on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Yesterday, the architect Frank Gehry and the director of the Guggenheim Foundation, Thomas Krens, were in Abu Dhabi to present Mr. Gehry’s design for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, one of five cultural institutions that are to be the star attractions in the proposed district. The others are a classical museum, to be designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel (and possibly to bear the name of the Louvre); a maritime museum designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando; a national museum; and a performing arts center designed by Zaha Hadid.
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UNESCO debate on challenge of cultural property

Posted at 9:18 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

One of the biggest challenges facing museums in the 21st Century is how they approach any claims made on cultural property in their collections.

Kuwait News Agency

UNESCO to hold debate next week on challenges facing museums
UNESCO to hold debate next week on challenges facing museums

PARIS, Feb 1 (KUNA) — A debate will be held on Monday at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) entitled ‘Memory and Universality: New Challenges Facing Museums,’ which will discuss the historical, ethical, political and economic aspects of this issue.
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Parthenon book author to speak at Princeton

Posted at 9:15 am in Acropolis

Joan Breton Connelly is known for her groundbreaking analysis of a sculptural frieze adorning an exterior colonnade of the Parthenon.

Princeton University News

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Campus Announcements
Connelly to speak on women in ancient Greece, Feb. 8
Posted January 31, 2007; 12:53 p.m.

Art historian and archaeologist Joan Breton Connelly will discuss women’s roles in ancient Greece in a lecture scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in McCosh 50.

Connelly, whose talk is titled “Visual Space/Ritual Space and the Agency of the Greek Priestess,” is an associate professor of fine arts at New York University. Her upcoming book, “Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece,” is a comprehensive cultural history of priestesses in the ancient Greek world. It challenges long-held beliefs to show that women played far more significant public roles than previously acknowledged.
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Guardian obituary for Peter Derow

Posted at 9:09 am in Elgin Marbles, Parthenon 2004

Another obituary – noteworthy inasmuch as it is written by a senior employee of the British Museum (who was also once a student of Peter’s) & that it specifically refers to the Elgin Marbles.

The Guardian

Peter Derow
Oxford historian and gentle champion of the ancient Greeks
Jonathan Williams
Friday February 2, 2007

The American-born Oxford academic Peter Derow, who has collapsed and died of a heart attack, aged 62, in the front quad of Wadham College, Oxford, was one of the most influential teachers of ancient Roman history of his generation. As fellow and tutor in ancient history at Wadham, he taught almost 30 years of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on in the field, with the shape and focus of their careers owing much to his inspiration. Tutorials with Derow introduced his students to the Enlightenment tradition of intellectual activity as a demanding but social and humane endeavour.

Peter was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the only child of Sidney Derow, a US navy medic, and Elma Kari. He attended the Roxbury Latin school and, for his first degree, Amherst College, Massachusetts, where he met and married his first wife, Ellan Odiorne. His second degree was at Wadham, where, from 1965 to 1967, he read greats – ancient philosophy and history – and took his first. It was in this period that he first encountered George Forrest, then ancient history tutor at Wadham, who was an intellectual influence and personal friend until his death in 1997.
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February 1, 2007

Toi moko to return home

Posted at 12:50 pm in Similar cases

Further coverage of Aberdeen University’s decision to return nine Maori heads.

The Scotsman

Wed 31 Jan 2007
No place like home

THEY are not really the kind of thing you’d want on your mantelpiece, but in their native land the toi moko are sacred, and now they’re going home. Earlier this week, nine preserved and tattooed heads of Maori warriors, acquired by Aberdeen University in the early 19th century, were ceremonially handed over to representatives from Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum.

Back home, they will be placed within a consecrated area of Te Papa (it means, roughly, “our place”), pending further research to confirm their iwi or tribe of origin. They are just the latest preserved Maori heads to be returned to New Zealand from Scotland over the past few years, museums in Perth and Glasgow having similarly agreed to the repatriation of toi moko from their collections, following agreement that it was appropriate that these venerated relics be returned to their native soil and culture.
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