Showing results 1 - 12 of 16 for the month of June, 2007.

June 27, 2007

Its time to return what was stolen from Africa

Posted at 12:50 pm in Similar cases

Kenya tries again to attack the vicious cycle that prevents artefacts being returned by museums in the west. They will not return them because Kenya does not have suitable facilities to keep them. If they were returned though, the huge visitor draw would easily pay for upgraded facilities within the country.

All Africa

Africa: It’s Time to Return What Was Stolen
East African Standard (Nairobi)
27 June 2007
Muthoni Thang’wa, Nairobi

Who owns the past? There are efforts by some Kenyans to reinvent themselves and find value and meaning in a cosmopolitan world.

In an effort to make peace with the past in Africa, there has been a call for repatriation of materials held in some of the largest museums in the world. In one of the most interesting debates going on in the world of heritage, the controversy pits mainly African, Asian and Middle East institutions against some of the most prestigious museums in Europe and America.
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A Conversation with Zahi Hawass

Posted at 12:45 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass, the controversial head of Egypt’s Supreme Archaeological Council talks about how Egyptian artefacts in foreign museums need to be more easily seen by Egyptians.

Condé Nast traveller

A Conversation with Zahi Hawass
by Susan Hack
Published July 2007

The secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass is the guardian of the country’s incomparable wealth of monuments, a flamboyant showman whose many books and television documentaries have made him the most famous Egyptologist since Howard Carter. He spoke to Condé Nast Traveler’s Susan Hack about the need to balance tourism and conservation, Americans’ overreliance on package tours, and why he wants his country’s treasures back.
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British Library holds talks on Lindisfarne Gospels

Posted at 12:42 pm in Similar cases

Fresh discussions are being held between museum chiefs from North East England & the British Library over the Lindisfarne Gospels which they would like to be returned to Northumberland.

IC Newcastle

Museums chiefs hold Gospel talks
Jun 25 2007
William Green Political Editor, The Journal

Regional museum chiefs are to hold fresh discussions with the British Library over the future of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

A delegation from the North-East will meet counterparts at the British Library in London, which holds the manuscripts, next Wednesday to talk about a panel of experts that will examine the Gospels’ condition – with the region able to nominate a member to it.
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British select committee oficials have visited Athens

Posted at 12:37 pm in Elgin Marbles

A report from the Department of Culture Media & Sport’s select committee claims amongst other things that they are disappointed that Greece is not willing to accept the proposals offered by the British Museum with regard to the Elgin Marbles. It appears that the proposals are rather one sided though – the British Museum gets to keep everything they already have & they send some casts to the Greeks. It is not hard to see why they would have rejected this.

The Guardian

Olympics cash ‘should be paid back’
Press Association
Monday June 25, 2007 1:08 AM

Lottery money being diverted from British museums and galleries to pay for the 2012 Olympics should be treated as a loan and repaid, a report has said.

The Culture, Media and Sport committee expressed “deep concern” about the impact on Britain’s heritage sector of diverting lottery funds towards the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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June 26, 2007

Bingham, Yale & the stones of Machu Picchu

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

An examination of the similarities & differences between Yale University’s dispute with Peru & other recent high profile restitution cases.

New York Times

The Possessed
Published: June 24, 2007

The stones at Machu Picchu seem almost alive. They may be alive, if you credit the religious beliefs of the ruler Pachacuti Yupanqui, whose subjects in the early 15th century constructed the granite Inca complex, high above a curling river and nestled among jagged green peaks. To honor the spirits that take form as mountains, the Inca stoneworkers carved rock outcrops to replicate their shapes. Doorways and windows of sublimely precise masonry frame exquisite views. But this extraordinary marriage of setting and architecture only partly explains the fame of Machu Picchu today. Just as important is the romantic history, both of the people who built it in this remote place and of the explorer who brought it to the attention of the world. The Inca succumbed to Spanish conquest in the 16th century; and the explorer Hiram Bingham III, whose long life lasted almost as many years as the Inca empire, died in 1956. Like the stones of Machu Picchu, however, the voices of the Inca ruler and the American explorer continue to resonate.
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Fragment of ancient marble returned to Greece

Posted at 12:53 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Another ancient fragment has been returned to Greece after the holders of it in Denmark contacted the Greek Culture Ministry last year with the intention of repatriating it.

Athens News Agency

Fragment of ancient marble returned

A fragment of an ancient Greek marble relief was returned to Greece on Thursday by a Danish family that had owned it for over a century.

Carsten Dahl had contacted the Greek Ambassador in Denmark last April on his own initiative, informing him of the fragment’s existence, because he believed that “antiquities should return to their country of origin.”
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June 24, 2007

Artefacts looted during the Nazi era

Posted at 1:53 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited, Similar cases

The Marbles Reunited campaign made a submission to the British Government’s DCMS consultation on the restitution of artefacts spoliated during the Nazi Era. Marbles Reunited’s response highlighted the inconsistencies of the current approach to these issues. Comments from their submission were included in the published summary of the consultation.

The original consultation paper can be read on the DCMS website. The summary of responses is also available to download.

The responses made by various organisations are all available to download separately. The full text of the submission by Marbles Reunited is quoted below.

Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Consultation on Restitution of Objects Spoliated in the Nazi-Era
Thursday 02nd November 2006

On behalf of Marbles Reunited (Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles), I am submitting herewith the following comments on the Consultation Paper for consideration.

Whilst the general proposal of facilitating the restitution of looted artefacts is admirable from both a moral & legal viewpoint, we feel that the current limited terms of reference will lead to anomalous treatment of various cases in the future.
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June 22, 2007

Egypt asks British Museum for Rosetta Stone return

Posted at 12:54 pm in Similar cases

After many suggestions to the British Museum that it would like the Rosetta Stone to be returned, Egypt has now made a formal request to the British Museum.

The Art Newspaper

Egypt asks British Museum for Rosetta Stone
By Martin Bailey | Posted 21 June 2007

LONDON. The Egyptian government has made a formal request to borrow the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum (BM). A letter was sent last month by Dr Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The Art Newspaper can reveal that the request is for a three-month loan in 2012, for the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is being built near the Pyramids. Until now, the BM has been able to fend off questions about the return of the Rosetta Stone, since there had been no formal request.
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June 16, 2007

Select committee findings on the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:56 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

The findings of the Select Committee enquiryCaring for our Collections” make brief reference to the Elgin Marbles. The relevant sections are copied below. Previous positions are re-stated, but here we now have it in writing, that the decision is definitely one to be determined by the trustees & not the government, despite attempts by the trustees to imply that it is not their decision.

British Parliament website


The Elgin Marbles

135. Any inquiry concerned with the issue of disposals by museums is bound to attract some representations about the future of the Elgin Marbles. The term “Elgin Marbles” is a convenient shorthand for the Parthenon sculptures, which were brought to this country from Greece by Lord Elgin nearly 200 years ago and are now in the British Museum. Some parts of the sculptures remain in Athens, while others are displayed in the Louvre and other museums round the world. Shortly before our visit to Greece we went to see the Elgin Marbles and, while we were in Athens, we were shown the sculptures displayed in the Acropolis Museum, including a small part of a foot which had recently been reattached to a sculpture after being returned to Athens from a German university. Work was being done on the Parthenon itself, to remove parts which are still attached to the temple. We were also shown round the impressive New Acropolis Museum, which is being built on a site at the foot of the Acropolis hill to house all the archaeological finds from the Acropolis, and which will replace the rather small museum which stands on the rock of the Acropolis. Our hosts explained that the Parthenon sculptures from the old museum and those now being taken from the Parthenon would be displayed on the top floor of the new museum. Only original marbles would be displayed there, not casts, and gaps would be left to show where parts were missing. During our discussions with Mr Voulgarakis, the Greek Minister for Culture, and other representatives of the Greek cultural sector we heard many references to the special place of the Parthenon and its sculptures in the hearts of the Greeks. In 2000, our predecessor considered the arguments advanced by the British Museum and others in support of the case that the marbles should remain where they are and those of the Greek government for a change in location. It did not advocate any change to the present status of the Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum.
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June 15, 2007

Marbles Reunited submission to the DCMS select committee

Posted at 1:44 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

The Department of Culture Media & Sport’s Select committee held a recent enquiry “Caring for Our Collections”, the remit of which included de-accessioning from Museums. The Marbles Reunited committee made a submission to this enquiry. The full results of the enquiry can be read on the UK parliament website here & here.

Below is a copy of the submission made by Marbles Reunited.

British Parliament website

Memorandum submitted by Marbles Reunited: Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

1. About Us
Marbles Reunited: Friends of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles is a British organisation which lobbies for the reunification of all surviving Parthenon sculptures in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece. Our membership includes politicians, lawyers, archaeologists, museum professionals, architects, media figures and leading academics.
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Stolen statue of Apollo returned to Greece

Posted at 12:59 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More on the return of a looted statue recovered in Switzerland to Greece.

Middle East Times

Greece reclaims stolen Apollo statue
June 14, 2007

ATHENS — Greece Thursday presented a Hellenistic-era torso of the ancient Greek god Apollo discovered in Switzerland more than 15 years after it was stolen from an excavation site on Crete.

The headless torso was in the possession of art dealer David Cahn in Basel, and the Greek authorities intervened just before it was delivered to a private buyer, culture minister George Voulgarakis told a news conference.
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Greece recovers ancient statue from Switzerland

Posted at 12:56 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Greece continues having many small successes in their attempts to recover illegally acquired ancient artefacts. In this case it is a statue which was stolen from Crete in 1991 & traced to an antiquities dealer in Switzerland.

International Herald Tribune

Greece recovers stolen ancient statue from Switzerland
The Associated Press
Published: June 14, 2007

ATHENS, Greece: Greek authorities on Wednesday took delivery of a 1,900 year-old statue, stolen 16 years ago and recently discovered in the collection of an antiquities dealer in Switzerland.

Recovery of the headless marble sculpture is part of an aggressive Greek campaign to repatriate illegally exported antiquities and seek the return of the Parthenon sculptures — also called the Elgin Marbles — from the British Museum in London.
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