Showing results 1 - 12 of 30 for the month of April, 2008.

April 29, 2008

Lecture at Charles Darwin University on the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:07 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

Australia’s Charles Darwin University is hosting a lecture on The global campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

Charles Darwin University

Battle over ‘Marbles’ spans two centuries
29 April 2008

Charles Darwin University will hold a free public lecture this week presenting, “The global campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles”.

The founder and chairman of the International Organising Committee Australia for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, Mr Emanuel J. Comino will speak about his campaign to return the “world’s greatest single collection of classical Greek sculptures” to Greece.
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April 28, 2008

Excuses for retention of artefacts

Posted at 1:37 pm in Similar cases

Many excuses are made by the museums of the west for the retention of artefacts. In this case, the argument is that making art works out of artefacts, particular those originating from “primitive” cultures will increase their chance of survival.


Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Sunday, 27 April 2008

Universal culture can only be achieved when all cultures are able and free to make their contribution but this cannot be done when the guardians of one culture hijack the masterpieces of another culture. (Picture: Mask pwo or mwana pwo, Chokwe, Angola. Ethnology Museum, Berlin.)

In a recent article in a leading German newspaper, Abschied vom intellektuellen Kolonialismus with the title, Farewell to intellectual Colonialism; What Berlin can learn from the debate over the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. (1) Wolf Lepenies, holder of the Peace Price of the German Book Industry and recipient of several other academic distinctions, reminded me once again of the enormous difficulties Europeans, even intellectuals, seem to experience when they deal with African problems and above all, when they consider matters in which the interests of Europeans and Africans are involved. Somehow they seem unable or unwilling to give to Africans the same consideration as they give to others.
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Delays to Elgin family’s return of artefacts

Posted at 1:29 pm in Similar cases

The donation of artefacts back to Canada by the Elgin family has now been delayed by the British Government. One fears that any return decision on the Elgin Marbles would probably suffer a similar fate.

Ottawa Citizen

Red tape likely to delay Elgin artifacts display
Library and Archives’ acquisitions yet to receive OK from Britain
Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, April 26, 2008

Library and Archives Canada held a news conference yesterday to announce it has acquired, through a combination of donation and purchase, thousands of personal letters, state documents, paintings and other artifacts owned by Lord Elgin, governor general from 1847-1854.

The announcement was somewhat premature. Britain still has not given the green light for the export of all the loot.
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April 22, 2008

Swiss dealer returns ancient vase to Greece

Posted at 12:52 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Some more information on the return of the lekythos to Greece yesterday from Switzerland. Looting Matters also discusses this event in more detail, looking at the secrecy that seems to surround some of the coverage of it.

Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis has also used this event to highlight again the need for the Elgin Marbles to be returned.


Ancient urn returns to Greece
Campaign underway to reclaim illegally exported antiquities
Associated Press

updated 3:41 p.m. ET April 21, 2008ATHENS, Greece – A 2,400-year-old funerary urn has been returned to Greece and put on display, part of a campaign to reclaim illegally exported antiquities from museums and art dealers around the world.

The marble urn was displayed Monday at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
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Kwame Opoku responds to Philippe de Montebello

Posted at 11:24 am in Similar cases

Philippe de Montebello, Director of New York’s Metropolitan Musum has never been popular with restitutionists, despite being unwillingly responsible for some of the most significant artefact restitutions in recent years. He always gives the impression that he does not really even try to understand the issues & implies that he has been forced into making decisions by situations outside his control.

Modern Ghana

By Dr. Kwame Opoku
Mon, 21 Apr 2008
Feature Article

Reference is made to the letter from Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1), New York, which was published in AFRIKANET on Friday, 18 April, 2008. In his letter, Philippe de Montebello refers to my article entitled “Is Legality still a viable concept for European and American Museum Directors?” The Director of the Metropolitan does not address the main point of my article, namely, that the arguments the European and American museums present in defence of their holding of stolen African cultural objects are extremely weak. It seems the director is more interested in the picture inserted in the article than in the serious comments on legality. I shall therefore only comment on the points raised in his letter.

We are sorry that the Director of the Metropolitan Museum had to go to so much trouble in order to identify the Nok terracotta. Incidentally, why must a Nok sculpture be described as “haunting, strange-looking object”? This description comes from a museum director who has artworks from the Egyptians, Guro, Lobi, Dogon, Bamana, Senufo, Baule, Lumbo, Igbo, Fan Yoruba, Chokwe, etc among his collections. I thought we had long moved away from the period when the Europeans and Americans described whatever came out of Africa in these terms. Or are we going back to those days when an unbridgeable difference was assumed to exist between African art and European art? Surely, after the influence of African art on modern art and after so many exhibitions on African art, some organized by the Metropolitan Museum, such a description sounds somewhat odd, especially coming from a Director of one of the leading museums of the West.
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April 21, 2008

Request for members

Posted at 12:58 pm in Elgin Marbles, International Association

The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures currently has fourteen member organisations:

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden & USA

If people are aware of other organisations whose main goal is the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, especially national committees who are not already members, could they please let me know (using the contact form – menu at the top right of this page) & the details will be passed on to the relevant people.

Please note that membership of the International Association is only open to organisations – individual membership is not possible.

This is also a good point to remind people that the Marbles Reunited campaign in the UK is looking for a campaign director – see the previous post for more details.

Ancient oil flask returns to Athens

Posted at 12:45 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

Following negotiations by the Greek Government, a lekythos or flask used for oil has now returned to Athens from a private collection in Switzerland.

Athens News Agency

Ancient lekythos returned

Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Monday officially presented an ancient marble oil flask or lekythos dating from the 4th century B.C. that was returned to Greece from a private collection in Switzerland, at a press conference held at the National Archaeological Museum.

The procedure to repatriate the ancient artifact was completed last Thursday and in a few days it will be taken to the museum’s conservation workshops, where it will remain for two months.
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April 20, 2008

Protecting the archaeological sites without emptying the museums

Posted at 6:52 pm in Similar cases

When restitution is discussed by museum professionals & collectors, the alarmist view that their collections will be reduced to a shadow of what they once were is often raised. Here, Michael Conforti discusses an enhanced way of handling loans to deal with this issue.

The first half of the article here is not directly relevant to the topic.

Time Magazine Blogs

March 28, 2008 10:55
More Talk With: Michael Conforti
Posted by Richard Lacayo

Let’s finish that conversation with Michael Conforti, director of the Clark in Williamstown. Ma. He’s also upcoming president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, so in this part we talk about some issues affecting museums generally.

LACAYO: As everybody knows, Italy’s been reclaiming antiquities from American museums that were looted from archeological digs. So museums are taking more seriously the cultural property laws of other nations. But we also want museums that can show people what other cultures have created. Are there arrangements that could protect archeological sites but still supply museums with works?
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How should the Parthenon Frieze be displayed?

Posted at 6:46 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

One of the subjects of continual discussion during the construction of the New Acropolis Museum is how the Parthenon Frieze should be displayed in it. More specifically, people are concerned about how the representations of the sculptures in the British Museum are differentiated from the original sculptures that they are interspersed with.

Time Magazine Blogs

March 24, 2008 9:19
Getting Plastered
Posted by Richard Lacayo

I was in Athens last October to get an early look at the New Acropolis Museum, which opens this fall. As you probably know, its chief purpose will be to display the surviving Parthenon marbles, roughly half of which are in Greece. The other half, the Elgin Marbles, are in London at the British Museum, and the Greeks, as you definitely know, want those back.

Last fall the organizers of the museum had an ingenious plan for displaying the Parthenon frieze, which is the scene of the Panathenaic procession that once wrapped around the perimeter of the temple. They would place the portions still in Greece beside plaster copies of the panels in London, but the plaster copies would be covered with a thin fabric scrim. That way it would be possible to suggest how the reunited marbles would appear if only the Brits would give back the Elgins. But the scrims would make it clear that visitors shouldn’t mistake the the copies for real marbles.
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April 18, 2008

The Elgin Marbles & Lindow Man

Posted at 12:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Lindow Man, the body found in a bog in 1984, returned to Manchester today, on loan from the British Museum. BBC Radio Manchester has identified the benefits of displaying artefacts in the vicinity of where they were found – of retaining their local identity & interviewed me this morning for their new programme. You can listen to this interview in mp3 format here.

Manchester Evening News

Lindow man returns home
Yakub Qureshi
18/ 4/2008

A MAN frozen in time for the last 2,000 years received a warm welcome on his returned home to the north west.

The Lindow Man became one of the region’s most celebrated residents after his discovery in a peat bog near Wilmslow in 1984.
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Elgin family to return some stones of no value to their country of origin

Posted at 12:48 pm in Similar cases

The descendants of Lord Elgin are donating some artefacts belonging to one of their ancestors. Unfortunately, the ancestor in question is the Eighth Earl of Elgin, not the Seventh & the country in question is Canada. The two issues are not really conected, except through the involvement of the same family, but parallels can (& will) still easily be drawn.

Ottawa Citizen

Friday » April 18 » 2008
Lord Elgin rock show coming to capital region
Stones thrown at former governor general part of collection being handed over by descendants
Paul Gessell
The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, April 18, 2008

London has the Elgin Marbles. Ottawa is about to get the Elgin Rocks.

The marble sculptures were removed in the early 19th century from the Acropolis in Athens by the 7th Earl of Elgin. The rocks were thrown at the 8th Earl of Elgin, governor general to Canada, in 1849 by an English-speaking mob in Montreal angry over a bill compensating Quebecers involved in the rebellions of 1837-38.
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April 17, 2008

The last sculptures on the Parthenon

Posted at 1:19 pm in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology

More information on the remaining sculptures still on the Parthenon. Their potential removal constitutes an ethical issue with strong opinions on both sides of the archaeological world on the best route forward.

Agence France Presse

Last Parthenon marbles threatened by pollution: archaeologist
4 days ago

ATHENS (AFP) — A senior Greek archaeologist warned this week that the last original sculptures still adorning the Parthenon, Athens’ iconic ancient temple, face a major pollution threat and must be removed to a museum.

“There are still 17 original metopes (sculpted plaques) which must be protected because they can no longer endure atmospheric conditions,” Acropolis site supervisor Alexandros Mantis told AFP on Friday.
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