Showing results 13 - 24 of 40 for the month of May, 2007.

May 23, 2007

Australian support for Parthenon Marbles Return

Posted at 12:51 pm in Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the statement by New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma on his support for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens.

From:
Athens News Agency

05/22/2007
PM Karamanlis on official visit to Australia, meets with NSW state premier Iemma

Sydney (ANA-MPA/A. Panagopoulos) — Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday met with New South Wales state premier Morris Iemma, on the first official visit by a Greek prime minister in office to Australia. He is accompanied by foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and deputy foreign minister Theodoros Kassimis.

Karamanlis arrived in Sydney on Monday night, embarking on the first official visit by a Greek prime minister to Australia, following a visit to New Zealand, on an official tour of the region which will also take him to Vietnam.
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New South Wales Premier expresses support for the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 12:47 pm in Elgin Marbles

During a visit to Australia by the Greek Prime Minister, the Permier of New South Wales has taken the opportunity to express his public support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

From:
The West Australian

Domestic news
Australia, Greece to sign deal
22nd May 2007, 16:10 WST

Prime Minister John Howard and his Greek counterpart Kostas Karamanlis will finally sign a bilateral social security agreement in Canberra after two decades of talks.

Even though 700,000 Australians claim Greek heritage, Mr Karamanlis is the first Greek prime minister to visit Australia.
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Global role for the British Museum?

Posted at 12:40 pm in Similar cases

Martin Gayford looks at Neil MacGregor’s plans for the future of the British Museum. Perhaps the most interesting comment though is his summary of the way in which the British Museum grew to its current status: The BM collection was largely put together by 18th and 19th century gentlemen who traveled widely, accumulating specimens — a sculpture there, a rare ceramic here — as a botanist might gather flowers. Often, this collecting was done in a rough and ready fashion that would not be regarded as remotely legal these days.
Neil MacGregor (The British Museum’s director) talks about widening access to artefacts, but it seems that this is only ever possible when it happens on his own terms.

From:
Bloomberg News

Last Updated: May 22, 2007 02:35 EDT
MacGregor Sees Global Role for British Museum
By Martin Gayford

May 22 (Bloomberg) — What is the British Museum for? The answer might seem obvious, though it is an important question because there are forces working to dismantle great collections of artifacts from around the world.

It is after all, an 18th century institution. So I asked the BM’s director, Neil MacGregor, why we need an museum like this in the 21st century.
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May 22, 2007

What makes the Met a great museum?

Posted at 1:01 pm in Similar cases

Philippe de Montebello, director of the Met takes a similar line of reasoning to Neil MacGregor at the British Museum regarding the significance of the concept of universal museums. He has progressed further than the British Museum though in returning some artefacts, notably the Euphronios Krater although he still remains oddly blasé & unrepentent about the whole issue.

From:
The Independent

21 May 2007 13:15
Philippe de Montebello: Beauty and the eye of the beholder
What makes a great museum? The collections within it, says Philippe de Montebello. He should know, he’s been director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the past 30 years. Interview by Elizabeth Heathcote
Published: 20 May 2007

I think the answer to what makes a great museum is irreducible – it is the collections. The activities, the programmes, the exhibitions, the educational materials – all of these things are ancillary to the collections. If a museum does not have great works of art it is simply not worth visiting. You could put on the most beautiful or timely programmes, but without great works their reach will only be local.

Think of a traveller in London. They will visit the British Museum and the National Gallery without asking what is on now, which is an extra; they are going for the collections. You don’t go to Madrid and say: “I am not going to the Prado because they don’t have an exhibition of Impressionists.”
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May 21, 2007

More on the Benin bronzes issue

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

Further coverage of the exhibition of Benin kings & rituals.

From:
Afrikanet

Report and Comments of the exhibition Benin-Kings and Rituals
Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Sunday, 20 May 2007
OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION
BENIN-KINGS AND RITUALS, COURT ARTS FROM NIGERIA

“The exhibition is showcasing some of the works that made Benin (Nigeria) famous. It once again, reminds the world of a civilization truncated by the imperial forces of the colonialist. The works on show at this exhibition are some of the 3000 odd pieces of bronze and ivory works forcibly removed from my great grandfather’s palace by some Britons who invaded Benin in 1897. The British kept some of the loot for themselves and sold the rest to European and American buyers. These works now adorn public museums and private collectors’s galleries, all over the world.”

The Exhibition was opened on 8 May, 2007 amid a lot of excitement and expectations. Statements were made by the authorities of the Museum für Vőlkerkunde, Wien and by a very large and strong delegation from the Royal Family of Benin as well as by the Nigerian Minister for Culture and Tourism, Prof Babalola Borisade. The Director-General of the Nigerian National Commission of Museums and Monuments also spoke. Traditional dances and music of the Edo people were provided by the Edo Community in Vienna, giving a befitting welcome to the Royal Princes as well as to the Minister of Culture and Tourism. On the whole, the opening was a very spectacular and exciting event in the recently renovated premises of the Museum in the Neue Burg. The presence of the Nigerian delegation and the Benin Royal Family in their splendid colourful dresses undoubtedly added to the glamour of the event which was attended by more than 800 persons.
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Mediator hails Aboriginal remains return

Posted at 12:50 pm in Similar cases

More on the decision a few days ago to return Tasmanian Aboriginal remains to Australia.

From:
ABC News (Australia)

Last Update: Thursday, May 17, 2007. 6:18am (AEST)
Mediator hails return of Aboriginal remains

One of the mediators who helped secure the release of Aboriginal remains from a British museum says he hopes the deal leads to further repatriations.

The remains of 17 Indigenous Tasmanians were returned earlier this week after being released by the Natural History Museum in London.
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May 20, 2007

The case for the return of the Bronzes of Benin

Posted at 1:01 pm in Similar cases

The people have been asking for the return of various bronze castings for many years. Here, a number of the arguments for their continued retention are examined & deconstructed.

From:
Afrikanet

Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Sunday, 20 May 2007
OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION, BENIN-KINGS AND RITUALS, COURT ARTS FROM NIGERIA

When questioned about his views during the Symposium, Prof.Feest indicated that he had more developed elaborations which due to time constraints could not be presented. It is remarkable though that those views corresponded to opinions attributed to him in a Supplement of the conservative Austrian newspaper Die Presse issued to coincide with the opening of the Exhibition and which was distributed in the Museum after the opening on 8May, 2007(Feuilleton,die Presse,Mittwoch,9,Mai 2007,Seite 37).

In the Introductory Note already cited above, the Oba of Benin, declared:
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May 16, 2007

The new veiled marbles

Posted at 1:01 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Peter Stothard continues his commentary on the Elgin Marbles, in anticipation of the opening of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. In particular, he looks at the methods being used to differentiate between the marbles in Athens & casts of those in the British Museum.

From:
Times Blogs

May 13, 2007
Elgin’s veils

Objects of uncontrollable, almost sexual, desire?

Or as alluring as old men in prison pyjamas?

When the new Acropolis Museum in Athens sets new grey-muslin-draped copies of the Elgin Marbles alongside its own original pieces (the bits of the Parthenon frieze which his lordship left behind) I’m not sure what the public verdict will be.

The Greek government is hoping that their bizarrely shrouded imitations of the famous carvings – from virginal worshippers to sacrificial cattle – will drive visitors wild when seen next to the real 5th century marble figures in their special new room (see previous post).
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May 15, 2007

How much hope remains for looted antiquities

Posted at 12:49 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Is it hard for museums in the west to draw parallels over looted items, as they have few artefacts of similar cultural significance in their own countries?

From:
USCD Guardian (University of California at San Diego)

05 / 14 / 2007
Little Hope Remains For Carted-Off antiquities
By Megan Durham

In the last couple of weeks letters have been sent to most of the world’s major museums asking for the return of Egyptian artifacts to their homeland, bringing the decades-long debate over repatriation back into the headlines. Zahi Hawass, one of Egypt’s leading archeologists (known for wearing Indiana Jones-style hats), has demanded several iconic items, including the Rosetta stone and the bust of Nefertiti, arguing that such treasures belong in the country that created them.

Such claims seem to make perfect sense, but the museums that house these artifacts have paid little attention to them. The British Museum, where the Rosetta stone is housed, has expressed sympathy but is determined to stand firm.
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May 14, 2007

A preview of the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:52 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Peter Stothard, Editor of the TLS & former editor of The Times, talks poetically in his blog about his experience of visiting the construction site of the New Acropolis Museum.

From:
Times Blogs

May 11, 2007
Maidens of the air

Some time this Autumn there will be a sight in the sky of Athens to shock even the most unshockable Greeks.

Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis, professionally calm archaeologist and construction supervisor, has just told me about it, with sudden beads of sweat falling down from his white builder’s hard-hat to his slate suit and violet tie.

Flying Caryatids?

The professor and I have been looking out towards the place they are going to fly from.
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What impact will Britain’s change of Prime Minister have on Elgin Marbles?

Posted at 12:45 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

For some time now, everyone has known that Tony Blair intends to step down as Prime Minister, to be replaced by Gordon Brown. Will this change mean any change of direction for arguments over the Parthenon Sculptures?

From:
The Observer

Notebook: Athens
One last comeback as Greece rediscovers Callas
Helena Smith
Sunday May 13, 2007
The Observer

[…]

Game on again to win the marbles back?

Also troubling Greeks is the question over what the departure of Tony Blair would mean for the long-running battle to reclaim the Elgin – oops, Parthenon – marbles from the British Museum.

In the corridors of the Greek Culture Ministry, officials are whispering that a new broom in Downing Street may help their cause. The British PM’s departure comes only months away from the opening of the long-awaited and, may I add, resplendent, New Acropolis Museum at the foot of the holy hill. The £93m, three-storey behemoth will put ‘irresistible’ pressure on Gordon Brown to give back the marbles, campaigners say. ‘I am sure that the construction of the museum will provide a new, very powerful argument,’ said the Greek Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis.

May 13, 2007

Tasmanian remains return home after twenty years of argument

Posted at 12:39 pm in Similar cases

The Tasmanian Aboriginal remains in the Natural History Museum are finally returning to their homeland after many years of requests & refusals.

From:
International Herald Tribune

Britain returns remains of Tasmanian Aborigines after 20-year wrangle
The Associated Press
Published: May 11, 2007

LONDON: Teeth, skulls and skeletons looted from Tasmania in the 19th Century were handed to Aboriginal rights campaigners by a London museum Friday, after a 20-year struggle for their return.

Remains of 17 Aborigines have been held by the Natural History Museum since the 1940s, but will be flown Saturday to Tasmania, an island 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of mainland Australia.
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