Showing results 25 - 36 of 40 for the month of May, 2007.

May 13, 2007

Neil MacGregor’s transformation of the British Museum

Posted at 12:33 pm in Similar cases

With the publicity of the new television series about the British Museum, the Guardian has compiled a profile of Neil MacGregor, it’s director. It also looks at the growing politicization of the museum – the spinning of stories & the marketing of the brand as a move away from the academic institution it was once seen as.

The Guardian

The Guardian profile: Neil MacGregor
‘He has not only transformed the public’s view of what the British Museum is for, but also the view of the politicians’
BBC goes behind the scenes with the man who turned an institution around
Maev Kennedy
Friday May 11, 2007
The Guardian

In 1952 Glasgow council did something extraordinary: it bought an enormous crucifixion by Salvador Dali, and changed a small boy’s life. The city flocked to see it, including the schoolboy Neil MacGregor. He was transfixed; he bought a postcard and kept it by his bed for years. It turned him from a career in law, or medicine like his parents, towards art history and museums.

From last night and for 10 weeks, BBC viewers will follow the dramas and intrigues of The Museum, an institution the size of a substantial village, and the mayor who paces its streets first thing each morning, British Museum director Neil MacGregor. They will see a man regarded by his peers as high-minded to a fault, passionate about cultural history – and the most politically savvy museum director in the game.
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Why the etruscan chariot should stay in the Met

Posted at 12:26 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the Etruscan Chariot in the Met, that the Umbrian village of Monteleone Di Spoleto wants returned.

New Jersey Times

Chariot’s new home is where it should stay
Friday, May 11, 2007

I have been to Monteleone Di Spoleto, where Ottavio Vannozzi, a wonderful man, my cousin and the former mayor of Monteleone, held the keys to the church-turned-museum where a copy of the “Golden Chariot” sat among old newspaper articles taped to the walls and reel-to-reel tapes and dusty books about the chariot that stood in haphazardly placed bookcases.

As the story goes, around 1897, Isidoro Vannozzi, the discoverer of the Etruscan tomb, was either bamboozled by or he shrewdly dealt with a man from Norcia, another castle village several miles away in Umbria, Italy. He was building a house for his growing family when he dug a basement into the hill on the Vannozzi family farm. The hillside collapsed, exposing an Etruscan burial tomb. The family story says that he bartered, as they did back then, what he had for what he needed: in this case, the contents of the tomb, including the chariot, for tiles for his roof, as well as a cow or two and some sheep. What mattered at the time was that he was able to finish his house. The man from Norcia, either an antiques dealer or a professor from the language school, then sold the chariot to someone who moved it out of the country. I don’t think Isidoro would take kindly to Michael Rovello’s suggestion in his re cent Times of Trenton opinion article “Carry the chariot home” (April 28) that he was destitute or even unsophisticated.
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May 12, 2007

More on the dispute over Nefertiti bust

Posted at 12:56 pm in Similar cases

Further coverage of the arguments underway between Egypt & Germany over requests for the return of the bust of Nefertiti.

New Zealand Herald

World Story
Bitter battle over bust’s true home
5:00AM Friday May 11, 2007
By Catherine Field

PARIS – More than 3000 years after her reign as queen to a mysterious pharaoh, Nefertiti has sparked a row between Egypt, which wants her bust returned for an exhibition, and Germany, which is refusing to let it leave Berlin, where it is the city’s greatest treasure.

The painted limestone sculpture of the great queen is one of the most famous depictions of beauty and female power, showing a woman with exquisite features in the prime of life.
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Aboriginal bones go home

Posted at 12:15 pm in Similar cases

Following a court injunction earlier this year to stop testing on them, the bones of thirteen Australian Aborigines are due to be returned by the Natural History Museum.


Australian Aboriginal bones in London to go home
Thu May 10, 2007 10:13PM EDT
By Rob Taylor

CANBERRA (Reuters) – The bones of 13 Australian Aborigines held for more than 100 years at a British museum will be sent home within days, ending a two-decade fight for their return, Australia’s government said on Friday. The bones were taken without permission in the 1880s in a case which has been called “Australia’s Elgin marbles”, a reference to the row between Britain and Greece over Parthenon sculptures held in the British Museum in London.

“Aboriginal remains held in London will be repatriated to Tasmania within days following successful mediation,” Australia’s Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said.
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May 11, 2007

Is Nefertiti too precious to risk returning

Posted at 12:50 pm in Similar cases

Another spurious line of reasoing is now being put forward by Germany in an attempt to avoid suggestions that it sould return the bust of Nefertiti to Egypt.

Spiegel (Germany)

May 10, 2007
Beauty of the Nile Trapped on the Spree
By Andrew Curry

The diplomatic row between Germany and Egypt over the 3,400-year-old bust of the beautiful Queen Nefertiti is heating up. Berlin’s refusal to allow her to travel is “unacceptable” says Cairo.

She may be a 3,400-year-old foreigner, but she is still one of Berlin’s best-known beauties. Her delicate features adorn posters all over town; there’s an entire calendar devoted to her entrancing image; and thousands flock to the city’s museum island each day just to catch a glimpse of her. Now, Egypt wants her back.
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May 8, 2007

Securing return of artefacts is a priority for Greece

Posted at 12:48 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of Costas Karamanlis’s speech at the Agora in Athens.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Monday May 7, 2007 – Archive

PM says getting antiquities back is still a priority for Greece

The return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece from the British Museum is still a “main target” for the government, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said on Saturday after viewing a set of recently returned 5th century cups that have been put on display at the Ancient Agora in central Athens. “I am sure that the construction of the New Acropolis Museum, which is now being built at a rapid pace, will provide a new, powerful argument to this effort [to bring back the Marbles],” Karamanlis said. Visitors are likely to be allowed into the museum some time next year.

Greek Prime Minister draw parallels between Agora artefact return & Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 12:45 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has visited the Agora site following the return of artefacts there. In his speech he made clear the obvious similarities between the many minor restitution cases that have been successful & the ongoing one of the Elgin Marbles.

Athens News Agency

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visits Ancient Agora in Athens

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited the Ancient Agora in Athens during the weekend, accompanied by Culture Minister George Voulgarakis and culture ministry Secretary General Christos Zachopoulos.

Speaking after his visit, Karamanlis said that antiquities dating back to the 5th century, and related to the wider region of the Acropolis, have been returned to Greece a few weeks ago and are on display in the Attalos Arcade.
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The British Museum & the Benin Bronzes

Posted at 12:40 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Many of the bronzes looted from Benin following military raids in 1897 ended up in the British Museum. Nigeria has so far been unsuccessful in securing their return.


The British and the Benin Bronzes
Written by Darshana Soni
Sunday, 06 May 2007
The British and the Benin Bronzes

The Kingdom of Benin had a long history of peaceful relations with European nations. Many early Portuguese, Dutch and British Visitors had expressed admiration for this great African Civilisation. However, just under 100 years ago in 1897, the British, fueled by a desire to control trade in the area, launched a “Punitive Expedition” to attack Benin City. They deposed of the Oba (King) of Benin, burnt down his palace and looted the collection of unique art works in Bronze and ivory that adorned the palace.

The premier collection of the priceless Benin art treasures is today held at the Museum of Mankind in London.
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May 7, 2007

The British Museum’s plan for globalisation in the post imperial era

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The British Museum is to be the subject of a fly on the wall documentary in the coming months. Here, its director, Neil MacGregor suggests that continued retention of many disputed artefacts is not a problem, if (as he believes) it is for the greater good. Opinions of the other parties involved in the disputes clearly count for nothing. The collection was acquired largely during Britain’s era of imperialism – it appears though that the mentality of imperialism still lives on though.

The Times

May 6, 2007
Behind the scenes at the British Museum
From imperial war chest to global resource – the British Museum’s latest plan, says its director, Neil MacGregor, is to let everyone write their own history
Bryan Appleyard

So, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, why did you decide to let television cameras film behind the scenes at the museum, after the disastrous experience of the Royal Opera House in 1996, when a fly-on-the-wall documentary called The House made the place look like a nest of hysterical nutters? Did you have no qualms?

“No…” He pauses, then giggles convulsively. “Well, yes, as you’ve started with a tone of honesty.”
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May 6, 2007

Aborigines discuss return of human remains

Posted at 12:56 pm in Similar cases

Following many successes in their requests to the Natural History Museum, Australian Aboriginal groups are now focusing their campaign on other museums in the UK.

Radio Australia

Aborigines discuss return of remains
Last Updated 05/05/2007, 06:54:25

With the end in sight for negotiations over the return of Aboriginal remains from the British Natural History Museum, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is now focussed on other British institutions holding ancestral remains.

The centre’s delegates say they’ve reached a draft agreement with the museum which they hope will be signed off in London on Tuesday.
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May 5, 2007

Greek & British governments discuss the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:41 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Following on from meeting between the British Museum & Greek Government to discuss the Parthenon Marbles issue (amongst other things), the British Museum has issued a press release providing some details of the meeting. Despite how negative the press release may seem & the fact that the Museum reiterates its previous stance once again, this is a momentous point, as it is the first time I am aware of, that the British Museum has publicly admitted that it is even discussing the issue.

The British Museum press office

Press release
4 May 2007

A regular meeting took place today between Greek and British government officials on the subject of the Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum. Representatives from the British Museum and UNESCO were also present. The UK government has always made clear that this is a matter to be decided by the Museum’s Trustees.

At the meeting, the British Museum representatives restated the Trustees’ position, set out in a press release of 21st April (attached to this email). The Trustees see the sculptures as an integral part of the Museum’s collection in London, part of the unique overview of world civilizations that the British Museum exists to present. In consequence, they have always made clear that they cannot contemplate the removal of all of the Parthenon sculptures to Athens, even for a short period of time. This remains their position.

The Trustees believe that it is important that friendly discussions continue with Greek colleagues to see if there is any reasonable ground on which a way forward might be constructed.

Hannah Boulton
Communications Manager
British Museum
Great Russell St
London, WC1B 3DG

Egypt asks second German museum for statue loan

Posted at 12:52 pm in Similar cases

Following the requests for the return of the bust of Nefertiti, Egypt is now asking for another loan from the Roman and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim.

EUX.TV (Netherlands)

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 17:06
Subject: /Germany-Culture/Egypt/
Egypt asks second German museum for loan of statue

Hildesheim, Germany (dpa) – Weeks after a spat over the bust of Queen Nefertiti, Egypt has asked a provincial German antiquities museum for the loan of a second Pharaonic statue, it was confirmed Friday.

Cairo is hoping to bring home the world’s greatest Egyptology treasures for a temporary exhibition in 2012 at the inauguration of the rebuilt Egyptian Museum.
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