Showing 11 results for the month of August, 2007.

August 27, 2007

Why Athens needs a new Archaeological Museum

Posted at 2:00 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

The imminent opening of the New Acropolis Museum is only going to highlight how tired Athens’s Archaeological Museum has become. Whilst it has many amazing artefacts in its collection, it has trouble doing justice to them in the context of the expectations of visitors in the 21st century.

Kathimerini (English edition)

Saturday August 25, 2007 – Archive
Archaeological museum woes
By Nikos Vatopoulos

In a few months’ time, Athens will be ready to open the New Acropolis Museum, but it would be wonderful if it were also in a position to open a New Archaeology Museum by 2015. It is feasible, and above all desirable. When Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis opened the new gift shop at the National Archaeological Museum the other day – do government ministers anywhere else in the world do this? – it once more became clear how little scope there is for developing a museum that is stifled by the Culture Ministry. It could be the top money earner for tourism in Athens, even more so than the Acropolis, if it functioned like other major museums in the world. It may sound petty, but if a country like Spain or Italy had the treasures of the Athens museum, the gift shop would not have been opened in 2007.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 26, 2007

Slime Snake Monkey People?

Posted at 1:37 pm in Acropolis

Robert Bowie Johnson Jr. continues to expound his distinctly non-mainstream opinions on the interpretation of the sculptures of the Parthenon with his latest book.

I have read one of his previous books, but have not seen this one yet & am not planning on reading it – his entire research seems to be focussed on proving his anti-evolution pre-conceptions. Almost any other book on the subject provides more believable / well researched interpretations on the Parthenon Sculptures than this.

Standard Newswire

Call Darwinists ‘Slime-Snake-Monkey-People’ Author Urges Christians
Merited Ridicule May Shame Them into Accepting Evidence in Greek Art for Genesis Events
Contact: Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., Solving Light Books, 410-757-4630

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, August 21 /Standard Newswire/ — Solving Light Books announced today the release of Robert Bowie Johnson Jr.’s new book, “Noah in Ancient Greek Art,” featuring 27 ancient images of the Greek version of Noah. The book details Noah’s role in Greek art as a known historical figure in relation to whom the artists were able to depict, and boast of, the rapid growth of their contrary spiritual outlook, exalting man, instead of God, as the measure of all things.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 17, 2007

Dispute over view from New Acropolis Museum divides government

Posted at 1:32 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

More on the dispute over the demolition of two buildings to stop them obstructing views from the New Acropolis Museum.

Bloomberg News

Acropolis View Divides Ministers, Vangelis, 85-Year-Old Elly
By Maria Petrakis
Aug. 16 (Bloomberg)

It’s a hot day in Athens and a builder working on the new $178 million Acropolis Museum pauses to wipe his brow and stare up at the 2,500-year-old Parthenon.

At the same time, Elly Kouremenos looks out of the apartment she’s lived in for 72 years and wonders why the view from the museum means her home must be razed.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 16, 2007

Will Greece demolish building to make way for the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:56 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

Yes again the issue of the two buildings fronting the New Acropolis Museum site has become an issue due to their anticipated demolition.

The Art Daily

Monday, August 13, 2007
Listed buildings may be torn down

ATHENS, GREECE.- Two listed buildings are in danger of being torn down in Athens to provide a better view of the Parthenon from the new museum. One of the buildings is an Art Deco gem designated a monument in its own right at No. 17 Dionyssiou Areopagitou St. was built by Vassilis Kouremenos, a graduate of Paris’ Ecole des Beaux Arts and reportedly a friend of Pablo Picasso. The other building is owned by Oscar-winning composer Vangelis Papathanassiou of Chariots of Fire fame.

Kostas Stamatopoulos of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage said, “It is probably the most impressive example of its kind.”
Read the rest of this entry »

August 15, 2007

Are tourists the pilgrims of our age?

Posted at 1:59 pm in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

An interesting article reflects on the mindset of modern tourism, as well as the effect of the progress of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens on the debate over the Elgin Marbles.

The Independent

14 August 2007 13:13
Philip Hensher
Tourists are the pilgrims of our age
Published: 14 August 2007

Some people find the spectacle of mass tourism offensive and alarming, and in many places it certainly is that. On occasion, however, you have to reflect that the scale of tourism – the sheer numbers flocking round some important treasure – is some kind of homage to the power of the imagination, and of the history of culture. It’s sometimes hard to remember this, but in the middle of August, we should probably make the effort.

In Athens this week, I made the effort in the broiling heat to climb the Acropolis hill, to see what progress has been made in its restoration and rebuilding. The heat was a serious disincentive, it must be said. But there was something extraordinarily moving about the numbers of people making the same journey, from all parts of the world: Japanese women very sensibly using parasols, Americans fanning themselves with their baseball caps, the unmistakably sticky-out legs of the English and elegant Spanish, South Americans and Indians, coping very well indeed with the heat.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 14, 2007

Elgin Marbles discussed on Big Brother

Posted at 1:53 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Not a topic I’d have expected to be raised on that type of program – any mentions of it in different contexts though will help to raise the profile of the issue with people who might otherwise not have heard about it.

Digital Spy

Day 76 / Aug 13
Gerry talks about national pride
Day 75, 11:19 BST
By James Lee

Gerry talked with Jonty about national pride and patriotism last night.

The pair lay in the bedroom as they quizzed each other about their history knowledge. Gerry talked about how he thought the artifacts in the British Museum should be returned to the countries they were taken from.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 12, 2007

Are the world’s museum losing their grip on their collections

Posted at 1:49 pm in Similar cases

Prompted by the Getty’s settlement with the Italian Government, the Economist newspaper looks at the implications of the shift in museum attitudes to restitution in recent years.

The Economist

Returning treasures
Sending them home
Aug 11th 2007
Are museums are losing their grip?

THE Getty Museum in Los Angeles agreed to return 40 of its treasures to Italy earlier this month, resolving a dispute that had rumbled on for several years. The Italian government argued that all the items had been stolen or looted in the first place. So the Getty, although it had paid for them, had no lawful right to keep the pieces. Most had been excavated in Italy and then illegally exported, in violation of a 1939 law ruling that all archaeological property belongs to the Italian state. The most important of the artefacts to be returned is a 7ft marble and limestone statue of the goddess Aphrodite, which the Getty bought 20 years ago for about $18m.

Neither the Getty Museum nor the Italians got exactly what they wanted out of the deal. The Italians had pushed for the restitution of 46 items, while the Getty had earlier offered just 26. Furthermore, another prime bit of famous statuary, a 2,500-year-old bronze of a victorious youth, still remains the subject of fierce disagreement.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 4, 2007

Francesco Rutelli & the Getty

Posted at 1:48 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Richard Lacayo looks at how some of the Italian claims for the return of artefacts hold much less validity than others.

Time Magazine blogs

August 2, 2007 11:45
The Goodbye Girl

Yes, I’m still on vacation through mid-August, so I resisted the temptation to jump in earlier this week to comment on things like the departure of Guggenheim Director Lisa Dennison for a job at Sotheby’s or the suicide of the artist Jeremy Blake, whose haunting mixed media show Winchester I was lucky enough to catch a few years ago at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 3, 2007

Getty to return 40 Italian antiquities

Posted at 1:46 pm in Similar cases

Details of an agreement reached between Italy & the Getty Museum, after re-opening talks on the matter.

Bloomberg News

Getty Agrees to Give Italy 40 Disputed Antiquities (Update3)
By Stephen West and Catherine Hickley
Aug. 1 (Bloomberg)

The J. Paul Getty Trust agreed to hand over to Italy 40 antiquities, including a statue of Aphrodite that Italian officials say was looted from Sicily, largely settling a dispute with the Los Angeles museum.

The two sides agreed to postpone discussions on the Getty Bronze, a statue that became a sticking point in the talks, until a legal case involving the statue brought in the town of Pesaro is resolved, Getty Director Michael Brand and Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli said today in a joint statement.
Read the rest of this entry »

Greece & Italy re-open antiquities talks

Posted at 1:37 pm in Similar cases

Further development show some level of cooperation in the dispute between Italy & the Getty Museum.

Los Angeles Times

Getty, Italy reopen talks on antiquities
Negotiations resume on 46 disputed artifacts as a deadline for a cultural embargo looms.
By Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, Special to The Times
July 31, 2007

Days before a threatened cultural embargo was scheduled to take effect, the J. Paul Getty Museum has resumed negotiations with the Italian government over 46 of the museum’s disputed antiquities — opening the door to a possible agreement.

In an exchange described by a Getty official as “intense” and “useful,” the museum has exchanged letters with Italy’s minister of culture, exploring possible settlements of the dispute, authorities from both sides confirmed Monday.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 2, 2007

Art Deco building faces demolition to make way for New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:04 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

Argument & protests continue in Athens over the badly handled decision to potentially demolish two ancient buildings that partially block views of the Acropolis from the New Acropolis Museum.

The Observer

Athenians go to war over two views of history
Helena Smith in Athens
Sunday July 29, 2007
The Observer

It was designed by a friend of Pablo Picasso, adorned with mosaics depicting Oedipus and the Sphinx, and described as Art Deco at its Athenian best. But a row about the building that guidebooks describe as a ‘must-see’ on the boulevard linking the Greek capital’s great classical sites is now threatening to eclipse the opening of Europe’s most ambitious museum. All because the 1930s building blocks the view from a restaurant.

Culture Ministry officials say the four-storey architectural gem designed by Vassilis Kouremenos commits the cardinal sin of blocking a visitor’s view of the Parthenon from the vantage point of the New Acropolis Museum’s dining terrace. Unrivalled vistas have been the biggest selling point of the stunning museum built at the foot of the Periclean masterpiece to promote its golden age wonders – including one day, Greeks hope, the Elgin Marbles, currently housed in the British Museum.
Read the rest of this entry »