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

September 19, 2007

Artefact repatriation is long overdue

Posted at 1:23 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

A look at how the agreement between Yale University & Peru sits within the wider context of cultural property repatriation claims.

Indiana Statesman

Artifact repatriation is long overdue
Issue date: 9/19/07 Section: Opinion

Yale University announced yesterday that it would indeed return over 4,000 pieces of Incan history to the South American country of Peru, a British Broadcasting Corporation story reported.

I was happy when I read this story. Sure, previous attempts at negotiating this same return have failed in the past, but they’ve succeeded this time, and there’s something to be said for that.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 17, 2007

Peru & Yale reach deal on artefacts

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

It appears that a conclusion has finally been reached between Yale University & Peru over various Inca artefacts. What is interesting is the detail of the agreement – something that can benefit both parties. Hopefully, this can form a framework for agreements on other cases in the future.

Inside Higher Ed

Sept. 17
Yale and Peru Reach Pact on Artifacts

Yale University has agreed that its extensive collections of artifacts taken from Machu Picchu almost a century ago are in fact the property of Peru and that many of them should return to that country. The agreement, which extends beyond the artifacts in dispute, promotes the idea of research collaboration between Yale and Peru and ends a bitter legal dispute over a prized collection.

Archaeologists, other anthropologists, and college museum directors — who have been closely watching the negotiations — applauded the outcome. Several said that it could be a new model for resolving such disputes.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 16, 2007

The Peru / Yale agreement

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

This agreement between Peru & Yale University for the return of artefacts could well form an outline for the handling of similar cases in the future.

Yale University

Joint Statement by the Government of Peru and Yale University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2007

New Haven, Conn. — Representatives of the Government of Peru and of Yale University reached agreement today on a new conceptual framework for collaboration, with a focus on Machu Picchu. The relationship will embrace not only the archaeological materials Hiram Bingham excavated from Machu Picchu but also other aspects of scholarly and research interest, such as study of flora and fauna of the national park surrounding the archaeological site. Under the new framework, Yale and the Government of Peru will co sponsor an exhibition that will travel internationally, featuring objects from the Hiram Bingham expeditions in Cusco and Machu Picchu, dioramas and multimedia materials developed at Yale. The travelling exhibit will be curated by Yale and Peru’s National Institute of Culture scholars and will include additional pieces loaned by the Government of Peru.
The Government of Peru will undertake to build a new Museum and Research Center in Cusco, for which Yale will serve as advisor, and where the proposed exhibition will be installed following its tour.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 15, 2007

How to eliminate the black market in stolen antiquities

Posted at 1:57 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

A look at the economics of the market for stolen antiquities & how bans on exports can accentuate the problem.


the undercover economist: The economic mysteries of daily life.
Rent-A-Treasure – How to eliminate the black market in stolen antiquities.
By Tim Harford
Updated Friday, Sept. 14, 2007, at 7:51 PM ET

I am writing this column in one of my favorite London haunts—the Great Court of the British Museum. I’ve just been to see one of the museum’s most famous and controversial exhibits, the Parthenon Sculptures—also known as the Elgin Marbles. These carvings were removed from the Acropolis in Athens more than 200 years ago by the Earl of Elgin. But while there’s a predictably long-running argument over where the carvings rightfully belong, the trade in antiquities is very much alive today.

This trade is almost inevitable. In a poor country, such as Mali or Cambodia, foreigners are likely to be willing to pay more for artifacts than the locals would. The logic of the market would pull the choicest objects into foreign collections and foreign museums. Many see this as undesirable, and so most countries maintain some form of ban on trading antiquities.
Read the rest of this entry »

Behind the scenes at the British Museum

Posted at 1:51 pm in British Museum

In a look at what is happenening at the British Museum, there are some odd issues raised. After discussions with Haida Indians, it has been decided to move a totem pole to a location where it can be revealed under a different quality of light – an example of the contextual understanding that seems to be completely lacking from any of the Museum’s statements about the Elgin Marbles.
Furthermore the Prime Minister reflects on the Museum’s Britishness – a peculiar Britishness which seems to stem from having few artefacts within its walls that are actually British.

Financial Times

Monday Sep 17 2007
Behind the scenes at the British Museum
By Neil MacGregor
Published: September 14 2007 15:20 | Last updated: September 14 2007 15:20

Though the British Museum, founded by Parliament in 1753, is, in fact, the first public institution to be called British, there can be no other national museum that has a smaller percentage of its own history in its collections. In almost every country, the national museum tells the national tale. The British Museum, by contrast, was from the beginning intended to be not the story of these islands but a way of thinking about the world. This week, we seem to have been thinking almost exclusively about the Pacific.

Our current debates about national identity are as nothing compared with what the Japanese went through after the catastrophe of 1945. Deciding to highlight what they made, and had always made, the Japanese devised in the mid-1950s the system of designating craftsmen in ceramics and lacquer, textiles and wood, as Living National Treasures. These supreme practitioners are celebrated for making something exquisitely new while staying entirely faithful to tradition. Our current loan exhibition, Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, which closes next month, celebrates 50 years of Living National Treasures, presenting some of the greatest things made in Japan since the war, which are being shown abroad for the first time.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 14, 2007

Buildings in front of New Acropolis Museum face demolition

Posted at 2:01 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

More coverage of the latest development regarding the proposed demolition of two buildings that sit in front of the New Acropolis Museum.

Globe & Mail (Canada)

Athens gem in danger because it blocks view from new museum
Associated Press
September 13, 2007 at 12:13 AM EDT

ATHENS — Greece’s culture minister has cleared the way for demolition of a listed architectural gem in central Athens to improve the view from the landmark new Acropolis Museum.

George Voulgarakis’ decision, signed on Aug. 30 but made public Wednesday, revoked the listing of the ornate Art Deco building “to allow an unimpeded view of the Acropolis (from the new museum).”
Read the rest of this entry »

September 12, 2007

Greece gives go-ahead for demolition of buildings

Posted at 1:59 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

The latest developments in the row over two buildings in front of the New Acropolis Museum suggest that their imminent demolition is now likely.


Greece okays landmark demolition for Acropolis view
Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:12PM BST

ATHENS (Reuters Life!) – Greece’s Culture Minister signed a decree allowing the demolition of a historical landmark in central Athens to improve the view for a new museum a stone’s throw from the Parthenon, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Despite protests from conservationists, minister George Voulgarakis signed a decree allowing the demolition of an art deco building and a neo-classical property owned by the Oscar-award winning composer Vangelis.
Read the rest of this entry »

The colour of the Elgin Marbles

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

A new film about the Parthenon Sculptures by the British Museum shows how they may once have looked when they were painted. We should not forget though, how the whiteness of the sculptures in the Duveen Gallery is in part due to the controversial cleaning during the 1930s.

BBC News

Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 03:53 GMT 04:53 UK
Fear and fury among the Marbles
By Trevor Timpson
BBC News

The Elgin Marbles in the British Museum are marvellous – but they’re a bit, well, colourless, aren’t they?

That isn’t how it was for the ancient Greeks. The sculptures were painted in vivid colour. High up on the sides of the Parthenon temple in Athens, they had to be.
Read the rest of this entry »

Nefertiti loan request rejection by Germany

Posted at 1:50 pm in Similar cases

Arguments between Egypt & Germany over the bust of Nefertiti continue, as Germany rejects Egypts requests for a loan of the sculpture. Zahi Hawass’s handling of the situation is predictable.

Bloomberg News

Queen Nefertiti Boils Cairo Blood as Germans Reject Bust Loan
By Abeer Allam
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg)

In 1912, Ludwig Borchardt discovered a 3,400-year-old statue of Nefertiti, a queen of ancient Egypt, among ruins on the eastern bank of the Nile.

The German archaeologist shipped it home to Berlin, where it became the centerpiece of the antiquities collection at the Altes Museum. Now the blue, gold and terracotta bust is the focus of an international tug of war. After Germany refused to lend the statue to Egypt for a three-month exhibition, Egyptian officials said they may demand the statue be returned permanently.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 9, 2007

Anticipating the opening of the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:47 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The New York Times includes the New Acropolis Museum on its list of major new museums that are scheduled to open in the coming months.

New York Times

Architectural Shifts, Global and Local
Published: September 9, 2007

OVERWHELMED by the globetrotting needed to keep up with the new museums opening every year? Well, put on your track shoes. Keep up the pace.

The ribbon cuttings this season begin at the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, finally opening after a decade of delays. Bernard Tschumi’s delicate exercise in blending contemporary architecture into a weighty historical context carries a political message from the Greek government. It is an argument for bringing home the Elgin Marbles.


September 8, 2007

The Universal Museum concept rumbles on

Posted at 10:48 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The Universal Museum concept never really had its day of fame, as it was shot down from all sides almost as soon as it had been dreamt up. It is still not completely dead tough & various attempts are being made to re-brand this idea until eventually the world finds it palatable enough to buy into it.


(Friday, 07 September 2007) – Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku – Last Updated (Friday, 07 September 2007)

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) had as theme for this year’s General Conference, MUSEUMS AND UNIVERSAL HERITAGE

I was rather surprised that after all the serious criticisms which had been made against the 2003 so-called “Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums” by which certain museums declared themselves to be universal museums in an attempt to discourage any demands for the return of stolen or looted art objects from Africa, Asia, America and Oceania which are found in museums such as the Louvre, the British Museum, Völkerkunde Museum, Berlin, Völkerkunde Museum, Vienna and other institutions.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 4, 2007

Who do deep sea treasures belong to?

Posted at 1:43 pm in Similar cases

Salvage from the wreck of a Spanish ship off the coast of Portugal has opened up new arguments over who treasures in such instances actually belong to.

International Herald Tribune

Cultural heritage: Whose deep sea treasure is it really?
Published: September 4, 2007

The United Nations 2001 convention on protecting underwater cultural heritage was right to oppose the plundering of sunken archaeological treasures for profit. Unfortunately, only 15 countries have ratified the agreement, and the plundering has begun.

In what may become the biggest underwater find ever, Odyssey Marine Explorations, a commercial operation from Tampa, Florida, has reportedly hauled 17 tons of gold and silver from a ship widely believed to be the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes that was sunk by a British warship off the coast of Portugal in October 1804.
Read the rest of this entry »