Showing results 13 - 24 of 24 for the month of March, 2008.

March 20, 2008

Growing momentum for return of Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:38 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

At the Athens UNESCO conference on the Return of Cultural Property to its country of Origin, The Greek Culture Minister used his opening speech to highlight the growing momentum behind the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

From:
Reuters

Greece says momentum growing for Marbles’ return
Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:09am EDT
By Karolos Grohmann

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece said on Monday momentum was growing for the return of the prized Parthenon marbles, taken from the Athens Acropolis some 200 years ago by Britain’s Lord Elgin, as major museums handed back more ancient objects.

Museums around the world have in recent years started returning ancient artifacts to their countries of origin and have tightened checks on acquisitions to avoid buying objects that were illegally excavated or smuggled abroad.
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International conference at the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:34 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

I’ve just returned from the Athens UNESCO conference on the return of cultural property, held in the New Acropolis Museum. A lot of different cases were covered, along with many conflicting viewpoints. There was a definite consensus there though that the Parthenon Marbles ought to be returned.

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Saturday March 15, 2008 – Archive
International conference on cultural returns at the New Acropolis Museum
HELBI

Nobody can stop an idea whose time has finally come. This column has written on many occasions about how the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles has gone from being a national demand to an international imperative, supported by leading figures from around the world who want to see the parts of the UNESCO-listed monument reunited. But it will take more than being in the right to get back the marbles that Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, dismantled and took away in 1801, when Athens was under Ottoman rule. With the permission of the sultan, Lord Elgin, then the British ambassador to Constantinople, had the Parthenon friezes cut up and transported to England, where they were bought by the British government. It, in turn, donated them to the British Museum in London where they have remained since. Read the rest of this entry »

March 15, 2008

Cultural property restitution conference in Athens

Posted at 11:26 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

More details on the conference on the return of cultural property to its countries of origin, due to be held next week at the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

From:
Afrik.com

Thursday 13 March 2008
Experts discuss return of cultural property in Athens

Lawyers, museum professionals, archaeologists, academics and cultural property experts will meet in Athens, Greece, 17-18 March for an international conference on the Return of Cultural Property to its Country of Origin, according to a UNESCO statement, made available to panapress Thursday.

The conference, organised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with UNESCO, will be opened by the Greek Minister of Culture, Michalis Liapis, with Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, George Anastassopoulos, and UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Françoise Rivière, in attendance.
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When do looted artefacts become legitimate cultural property?

Posted at 11:23 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

There is a dividing line between what counts as looted artefacts & what counts as legitimate cultural property, assimilated deeply into the cultural fabric of its new homeland. Unfortunately, nobody can agree at what point this dividing line occurs.

In other news, this is the one thousandth post on this site – I’m not sure that this proves anything particularly, except that there continues to be a high level of media interest in the controversy surrounding the Elgin Marbles, & restitution claims generally.

From:
Taipei Times

When does ill-gotten booty become legitimate cultural property?
European spoils of war have often included cultural relics and art pieces, but it remains unclear when they should be returned to their countries of origin
By Michael Kimmelman
NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE, STOCKHOLM
Thursday, Mar 13, 2008, Page 9

It is hard to find anyplace in Europe today, even in peaceable Sweden, where people are not squabbling over cultural property and the spoils of war.

For some time, it turns out, a handful of nationalist Danes have been loudly barking about booty that the Swedes nabbed 350 years ago in a war with Denmark. The cache includes an ornate canopy from Kronborg Castle, of Hamlet lore, and recently people in Skane, a region in the south of Sweden that was ceded by Denmark in 1658 after losing the war, said they wanted the canopy handed over.
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March 8, 2008

Speakers at the Athens UNESCO conference

Posted at 12:39 pm in Similar cases

Lee Rosenbaum has written on her blog about her involvement with the UNESCO conference at the New Acropolis Museum The topic she is discussing sounds interesting – more interesting though is that through her post I have now connected many of the other speakers names with the authors of blogs that I already read from time to time.

You can read her post here.

US ambassador supports Elgin Marbles return

Posted at 12:18 pm in Elgin Marbles

The US ambassador to Greece, Daniel Speckhard has stated that he understands the importance of the Elgin Marbles issue to the Greek People. Hopefully he will use his power to raise the profile of the issue in future.

From:
Hellenic News of America

7th March 2008
Speckhard wants to promote Greek-American cultural relations

Athens- During his visit to Minister of Culture Michalis Liapis yesterday, U.S. Ambassador Speckhard said: “I told the minister that I have a special love and appreciation for the arts and culture, and I am particularly fascinated by the arts and culture in Greece. I believe that this area is as important as economics and politics in terms of building the relationship between our countries, and good understanding between the Greek and American people.
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March 7, 2008

Are the Elgin Marbles a Scottish issue?

Posted at 3:51 pm in Elgin Marbles

Whilst I agree with the views of this correspondent that the Parthenon Sculptures should be returned, I’m not convinced that it is necessarily a particularly Scottish issue anymore. I can well understand though why he might want Scotland to rid itself of any negative association with the issue.

From:
The Scotsman

Published Date: 07 March 2008
Source: The Scotsman
Location: Scotland
Return Elgin Marbles and lay ‘curse of Minerva’ to rest

Unsurprisingly, you did not report the recent debate (20 February) at the Cambridge University Union on the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. One more volley in a 200-year-old spat is hardly “news”. However, it did deserve mention in Scotland – indeed, the debate should have been held in a Scottish, rather than an English seat of learning.
Regardless of the outcome in Cambridge (overwhelmingly in favour of the return of the Marbles), for several reasons it is Scotland’s view on this subject that really matters.
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March 5, 2008

Will the New Acropolis Museum win back the Elgin Marbles?

Posted at 1:37 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Greece hopes that the opening of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens later this year will remove many of the British Museum’s arguments against the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

From:
USA Today

Greece hopes new museum will help win back Elgin marbles
5th March 2008

ATHENS (AP) — A long-delayed new museum in Athens where Greece hopes to reunite its ancient Acropolis masterpieces with Britain’s Elgin Marbles will open in September, officials said.

Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said finishing the glass and concrete building was a “national challenge” and would boost Greece’s campaign to wrest the 5th century B.C. sculptures from the British Museum.
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UNESCO conference in New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:34 pm in New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

UNESCO’s snappily titled Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation is to hold a two day conference in the New Acropolis Museum later this month on the Return of Cultural Property to its Country of Origin.

This conference will take place in the meeting facilities within the New Museum & as such will represent the first public use of the new building for an organised official event.

More details of the conference are available here.

March 4, 2008

Seminar on repatriation in Australia

Posted at 9:40 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The Institute of Art & Law is organising a seminar on March 5th 2008 in Sydney, Australia, entitled Repatriation, Deaccessioning and the Integrity of Museum and Archive Collections. Amongst the speakers, is David Hill – the chair of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

From:
Institute of Art & Law

Repatriation, Deaccessioning and the Integrity of Museum and Archive Collections
A study forum organised by The Institute of Art and Law with the support of the Australasian Registrars Committee
Sydney 5th March 2007

At no time in the history of public collecting have claims and proposals for the relocation of articles from museums caused greater controversy or provoked more searching analysis. The intensity of the debate has led museums into a fundamental re-examination of their social purpose and ethical basis. Return initiatives range from Holocaust-related art to human remains, encompassing sacred and traditional material, documentary archives and the products of armed conflict or colonisation. Virtually every major museum has experienced pressure for change and radical changes have already occurred. Specific developments in diplomacy, litigation and alternative dispute resolution have begun to colour the landscape.
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March 3, 2008

Travel agents shown around New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:38 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis showed a conference of Travel Agents around the New Acropolis Museum, highlighting the importance that he feels the building will play in the country’s cultural tourism strategy.

From:
Athens News Agency

03/03/2008
Liapis at New Acropolis Museum

Culture minister Michalis Liapis on Friday gave a tour of the New Acropolis Museum to more than 350 travel agents of the “Virtuoso” travel organisation, who are in Greece for their annual conference, which is being held in Athens for the first time.

In a brief address, Liapis said that “tourism and culture go hand-in-hand, as the country’s tourism identity bears the stamp of its cultural heritage”.
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European museums & African bones

Posted at 11:12 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Many items in British Museums were only acquired due to vast inequalities in power at the time. This would suggest that they should not really be seen as legitimate exchanges – but a product of their time – a historical wrong that should now be put right.

From:
Modern Ghana

WHY DO EUROPEAN MUSEUMS HAVE SO MUCH TROUBLE WITH AFRICAN BONES?
By Dr. Kwame Opoku
Sat, 01 Mar 2008
Feature Article

“The contested human remains in Western museums were collected at a time of gross inequality of power. A power that we now recognise was terribly abused at the expense of the indigenous peoples. We now have the opportunity to redress that historic imbalance acknowledging that this may well entail a loss to science that will in its turn heal open festering wounds. And it won’t all be a loss for the Western museum or the anthropologist; there is plenty of evidence that dialogue and transfer of authority back to where it rightfully belongs leads to a healthy relationship in which cultural exchange and understanding can flourish between the museum or the scientist and the indigenous community. That seems to me at least a pretty good dividend for addressing past injustice and working with the willing consent of indigenous peoples.”(1)

Tristram Besterman,
Former Director, Manchester Museum

It seems the colonial past of many European museums will keep haunting them for a considerable time and in the foreseeable future as they try to come to grips with the implications of the colonial enterprise for the activities of museums.
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