Showing results 1 - 12 of 37 for the month of January, 2008.

January 31, 2008

Renewed calls for return of Lindisfarne Gospels

Posted at 12:13 pm in Similar cases

The story of the intra-national restitution requests for the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the British Library continues.

Northumberland Gazette

Published Date: 30 January 2008
Source: Northumberland Gazette
Location: Northumberland
MP renews calls for return of Lindisfarne Gospels

ALAN Beith has renewed calls for the British Library to look again at returning the Lindisfarne Gospels to the North East.
The MP, whose constituency includes Holy Island, has been supported by other MPs over bringing the priceless cultural treasure back to its native home.

And he has sponsored an Early Day motion in the House of Commons following press reports about the British Library withholding information and putting forward “spurious arguments for not allowing the Gosp
els to be returned to the North East”.

Mr Beith said: “I am disappointed that a respected institution like the British Library has been obstructive and has withheld information which could strengthen the case for the Gospels to be returned.
Read the rest of this entry »

EasyJet & the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 11:57 am in Elgin Marbles

It appears that not everyone is happy with the campaigns for the return of the Elgin Marbles – and are using the press coverage of the campaigns support to spread their own mis-information on the subject. Before reading the below article, please note that: Elgin did not buy the marbles legitimately (or if he did he had no proof of this), the the world’s galleries are not going to be decimated (restitution claims in the US have only made the tiniest dent on collections) & that no one is attempting to re-write history – people merely want to correct what they believe is wrong.

Liverpool Echo

Sorry Stelios, but you can’t have them back
Jan 31 2008 by Joe Riley, Liverpool Echo

EASYJET founder Stelios is backing a new campaign to return the Elgin Marbles – sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens – to Greece.

First step by the 40-year-old Greek Cypriot tycoon, worth £725m (with a little help from Scousers flying out of JLA), is sponsoring a Cambridge University debate.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 30, 2008

Disputes over stolen art

Posted at 12:16 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Interestingly an American news article on looted artefacts has chosen to start by focusing on the British Museum’s retention of the Elgin Marbles. They then, less surpricingly look at many of the claims affecting US institutions in recent years.

Voice of America News

Disputes on Stolen Art Bring Up Complex Legal and Cultural Issues
Museums and governments are negotiating these complex issues around the world. Transcript of radio broadcast:
29 January 2008


I’m Bob Doughty.


And I’m Faith Lapidus with EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English. At the British Museum in London, millions of people every year visit a famous collection of marble statues from the ancient Greek building called the Parthenon.

These finely carved works and the building they came from are widely considered the most important examples of western art and building design. Why these Greek statues are in a British museum is an important part of our story today. We explore the complex issues of cultural property, ownership, and the returning — or keeping — of cultural treasures.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 29, 2008

The potential extent of the Robert Olson issue

Posted at 1:42 pm in Similar cases

The implications of the raids on California’s museums may well extend to institutions in other states.

Time Magazine Blogs

January 29, 2008 11:35
Those California Museum Raids — The Trouble Moves East
Posted by Richard Lacayo

It appears that it wasn’t just California museums gaining from the work of Robert Olson, the alleged smuggler of Asian and Native American art who got five of them into hot water recently. In this morning’s Los Angeles Times, Jason Felch is reporting that it appears Olson also did significant business with Barry McLean, a major collector of Asian Art and trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, whose collection is currently touring a number of smaller museums. (I wonder what Jim Cuno thinks about this?)

This interesting sidelight from Felch’s story:
Read the rest of this entry »

California museum fraud raids suggest deeper issues

Posted at 1:29 pm in Similar cases

The raids on various museums in Southern California, seem to indicate that the problems of illegally looted artefacts within US institutions run deeper than indicated by the many recent high profile restitution cases across the country. Despite supposed crackdown on behaviour of dubious legality by museums, many continued to purchase un-provenanced artefacts.

Los Angeles Times

Raids suggest a deeper network of looted art
Even after scandals, Southland museums pursued suspect artifacts, warrants say.
By Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 25, 2008

Coordinated raids on four Southern California museums early Thursday suggest that the involvement of art institutions in the purchase of looted objects is far more extensive than recent high-profile scandals have indicated.

Even as the country’s most prominent museums were embarrassed by revelations of stolen artifacts in their collections, several local museums continued to pursue objects they had reason to believe were taken illegally from Thailand, Myanmar, China and Native American sites within the United States, according to search warrants served Thursday.
Read the rest of this entry »

New Acropolis Museum showcased in Paris

Posted at 11:54 am in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

A series of Greek related events at a Paris bookshop will include features on the New Acropolis Museum & the Parthenon Marbles.

Athens News Agency

New Acropolis Museum in Paris

The new Acropolis Museum was showcased at a central Paris bookstore on Friday afternoon within the framework of a series of events entitled “Greece: Eternal and Marvellous”.

The initiative comes from the Greek embassy in Paris’ press office.
Read the rest of this entry »

Stelios Haji-Ioannou to support Elgin Marbles Campaign

Posted at 11:50 am in Elgin Marbles

EasyJet’s founder, the prominent Greek Cypriot businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has stepped forward in support of the work of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.

Daily Telegraph

EasyJet founder joins fight to return Elgin Marbles to Athens
By Chris Hastings, Arts and Media Editor
Last Updated: 2:09am GMT 28/01/2008

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the tycoon behind easyJet, has thrown his weight behind the campaign to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

The 40-year-old Greek Cypriot, whose business empire includes a cruise line, bus company and hotel chain, has pledged his support to the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 28, 2008

Unlocking the mysteries of the Parthenon

Posted at 12:20 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology

New research combined with the latest technology continues to reveal previously forgotten aspects of the Parthenon.

Smithsonian Magazine

Unlocking Mysteries of the Parthenon
Efforts to restore the ancient temple of Athena are yielding new insights
By Evan Hadingham
Smithsonian magazine, February 2008

During the past 2,500 years, the Parthenon—the apotheosis of ancient Greek architecture—has been rocked by earthquakes, set on fire, shattered by exploding gunpowder, looted for its stunning sculptures and defaced by misguided preservation efforts. Amazingly, the ancient Athenians built the Parthenon in just eight or nine years. Repairing it is taking a bit longer.

A restoration project funded by the Greek government and the European Union is now entering its 33rd year, as archaeologists, architects, civil engineers and craftsmen strive not simply to imitate the workmanship of the ancient Greeks but to re-create it. They have had to become forensic architects, reconstructing long-lost techniques to answer questions that archaeologists and classical scholars have debated for centuries. How did the Athenians construct their mighty temple, an icon of Western civilization, in less than a decade—apparently without an overall building plan? How did they manage to incorporate subtle visual elements into the Parthenon’s layout and achieve such faultless proportions and balance? And how were the Parthenon’s builders able to work at a level of precision (in some cases accurate to within a fraction of a millimeter) without the benefit of modern tools? “We’re not as good as they were,” Lena Lambrinou, an architect on the restoration project, observes with a sigh.
Read the rest of this entry »

Are the Lewis Chessmen becoming political pawns

Posted at 11:32 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Chess pieces seem to lend themselves to even more analogies for copywriters than marbles do… This particular one though seems fairly apt & could equally apply to many other restitution cases once they get seized by governments as a way of driving forward their own political agendas. On the other hand though, is the British Minister of State for Culture, Media & Sport the best one to take an unbiased opinion on this?

The Scotsman

Published Date: 27 January 2008
Source: Scotland On Sunday
Location: Scotland
Lewis Chessmen are pawns in Salmond’s political game

CHESS is sometimes a game of deception and cunning. Bobby Fischer, who died this month, famously won the “game of the century” in 1956 by sacrificing a Queen in order to make the space to inflict huge damage on his opponent and win outright. Things are seldom what they seem in chess.

And that’s just how it is with the call by Alex Salmond for the Lewis Chessmen to be seized from the British Museum in London and moved to a permanent collection in Scotland. Sure, it’s tempting, isn’t it? Instinctively there’s something cosy about the idea of bringing things home. I suspect it’s as true overseas as it is here. It’s not hard to imagine someone overseas wanting the glorious mummies and antiquities in the National Museum in Edinburgh sent back to Egypt, or the Burrell’s Impressionist paintings repatriated to France. And maybe we could redress the balance still further. How about slapping in a claim for the pink granite of the Albert Memorial in London to be stripped out and ‘sent home’ to Mull?
Read the rest of this entry »

UK Culture Minister rules out “nonsense” chessmen bid

Posted at 11:27 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Unsurprisingly, the view of the British Department for Culture, Media & Sport hasn’t welcomed Scotland’s requests for the restitution of the Lewis Chessmen. I doubt that this is the end of this particular story though.

The Scotsman

Published Date: 28 January 2008
Source: The Scotsman
Location: Scotland
Plan to return chessmen to Scotland is ‘nonsense’, says minister

THE UK government has knocked back Alex Salmond’s attempt to repatriate the Lewis Chessmen, deriding his plan as “nonsense”.
The First Minister wants the artefacts to be taken from the British Museum and put on display in Scotland.

But Margaret Hodge, the UK culture minister, dismissed the idea yesterday, accusing Mr Salmond of “creating conflict, not culture”.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 27, 2008

Responses to John Carr’s comments on the Marbles

Posted at 12:23 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Two letters published in Athens News highlight many of the factual inaccuracies present in the rantings by John Carr relating to the Elgin Marbles in recent weeks.

Athens News

No. 13271
Letters to the editor
A dispute carved in marble

IN HIS riposte (Zahopoulos and Elgin, January 18), John Carr struggles to justify his tabloid-style smearing of the Greek ministry of culture by appealing to his own version of the history of the Marbles issue. I pass over all his questionable assertions except the last one: “Let’s leave the Marbles where they can be seen and admired by 40 million (sic) people each year”.

If John Carr really believes in that figure, then one can begin to understand why he holds the views he does. In fact, not even the British Museum itself has claimed more than 5 million to 6 million visitors a year, while a series of questionnaires and opinion polls consistently show that, of this total, something over three-quarters do not bother to include the Marbles in their visit. An “ethical argument” still needs to be based on an array of accurate facts: ours is.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 26, 2008

Scotish minister to confront DCMS over Chessmen

Posted at 11:46 am in British Museum, Similar cases

More on the plans by Scotland’s ruling party to secure the return of the Lewis Chessmen to Scotland.

The Scotsman

Published Date: 26 January 2008
Source: Edinburgh Evening News
Location: Scotland
Minister steps up chessmen campaign

CULTURE minister Linda Fabiani will step up the campaign today to have the historic Lewis chessmen returned to Scotland.
She is visiting the British museum in London, where most of the 13th century figurines are housed, and will ask officials to consider the matter.

They were found on a beach near Uig on the isle of Lewis around 1830 and First Minister Alex Salmond recently backed calls for their return.
Read the rest of this entry »