Showing results 1 - 12 of 18 for the month of May, 2008.

May 30, 2008

Can Iran’s artefacts be siezed as terrorism compensation?

Posted at 10:39 pm in Similar cases

In a case that very similar to a previous one, moves are underway to seize Iranian artefacts on loan to the US to compensate for a terrorist attack in Beirut twenty five years ago. I still remain unclear about exactly how the law can be implemented in this specific way & whether its right that it should be.

From:
Reuters

US terrorism claimants compete for Iranian assets
Thu May 29, 2008 6:27pm EDT
By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) – Families of those killed in the Beirut Marine barracks bombing 25 years ago staked their claim on Thursday to ancient Persian clay tablets, on loan to a U.S. museum, to satisfy a $2.7 billion judgment won against Iran.

Iran’s government, declared a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States for its support of militant groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, has largely ignored civil suits seeking compensation for victims of Middle East attacks engineered by the two groups.
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The New Acropolis Museum at Athens Airport

Posted at 10:33 pm in New Acropolis Museum

A new free exhibition has opened at Athen’s Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, to publicise the New Acropolis Museum. I actually stumbled on the exhibition by chance whilst passing through the airport before it officially opened. It tells enough to get visitors interested & to make them want to find out more, but unfortunately it is located in the area on an area where few people are likely to accidentally pass it. This is already the problem with the permanent exhibition about the archaeological finds made during the construction of the airport.

From:
Athens News Agency

05/29/2008
Exhibition on new Acropolis Museum

An exhibition on the construction and exhibits of the new Acropolis Museum was inaugurated at Athens international airport on Tuesday by Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis and Transport Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.

Entitled “The New Museum of the Acropolis – Soon a new destination” the exhibition gives visitors from every country a foretaste of the new museum that is expected to open its doors to the public in the autumn.
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May 28, 2008

Stealing Athena

Posted at 10:10 pm in Elgin Marbles

A new historical novel by Karen Essex looks at the Parthenon Marbles through the eyes of two different people at different times, contrasting their views.

From:
Library Journal

Xpress Reviews—First Look at New Books
— Library Journal, 5/27/2008 10:30:00 AM

Fiction

[...]

Essex, Karen
Stealing Athena
Doubleday. Jun. 2008. c.400p. ISBN 978-0-385-51971-7. $22.95. F

Verdict: Essex (Kleopatra; Leonardo’s Swans) excels at well-researched historical fiction based on the lives of real women. Her latest is sure to have broad appeal among individual readers and book discussion groups. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/08.]
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May 27, 2008

Is Indiana Jones a real archaeologist?

Posted at 10:03 pm in Similar cases

Indiana Jones might well be the most famous archaeologist in the world (despite being fictional). But do his swashbuckling antics have any relevance to the way in which today’s archaeologists act, or is it more like the behaviour of those from a former age, who came from the West & grabbed whatever they could to take home.

From:
Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada)

opinion Real archeologists don’t wear fedoras
May 27, 2008
Neil Asher Silberman
Washington Post

After 17 years, Hollywood’s most famous archeologist is back in action. Now grayer and a bit creakier, Indiana Jones is again hacking his way through thick jungles, careering wildly in car chases and scrambling through dark tunnels to snatch a precious artifact from the clutches of an evil empire (Soviet, this time).

And I’m thinking, oh no. Here we go again. Get ready for another long, twisting jump off the cliff of respectability for the image of archeology.
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May 25, 2008

The New Acropolis Museum should be more than just a building

Posted at 10:00 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Following the news that the bill for the foundation of the New Acropolis Museum is being drafted, other people are starting to think about what exactly they want the museum to be.

From:
Kathimerini (English edition)

Saturday May 24, 2008 – Archive
COMMENTARIES
New museum more than just a building

Organizers must make sure that the New Acropolis Museum does not get tainted by the chronic problems and sloppiness that traditionally dog Greece’s public sector.

The museum needs a modern operational framework and the freedom of extensive administrative independence. For one thing, opening times must suit the museum’s visitors, not the staff.
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May 24, 2008

Should Manchester’s mummies be covered up?

Posted at 8:54 pm in Similar cases

A relatively minor issue is now provoking much debate amongst museums curators & archaeologists. At the suggestion of some staff, Manchester Museum has taken the decision to shroud the unwrapped contents of mummies that are on display. The decision, made out of respect for the dead has been welcomed by Zahi Hawass.

As times evolve, museums are shifting from being collections of curiosities, through being windows onto different cultures, to now finding that in many cases they have to actually interact with the cultures (or the descendants thereof) that originally owned the artefacts that they are displaying. Museums of the west have to now accept that they must consider not only the sensibilities of their own country or culture, but also those that created the items in their collections.

From:
ABC News (Australia)

‘Naked’ mummies cover-up welcomed
Posted Fri May 23, 2008 8:47am AEST

Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass has welcomed a decision by a British museum to cover-up its collection of ancient Egyptian mummies, saying it is a question of ethics.

Covering up the mummies is “a very important decision. I myself am with this position on an ethical basis, not a religious one,” Mr Hawass told AFP.
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Draft bill for the Foundation of the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 8:41 pm in New Acropolis Museum

As the creation of the physical manifestation of the New Acropolis Museum reaches its final stages, thought also has to go into the operational, management & legal size of a figurehead museum such as this. A draft bill has just been unveiled, which sets out the framework that will determine how the museum will actually exist & operate once it is properly opened. As it exists at present, the proposed bill with give the museum far more autonomy than any of the other state run museums (which means almost all of the museums – the only major ones in Athens that aren’t state owned are the Goulandris & the Benaki).

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Friday May 23, 2008 – Archive
NEWS
Acropolis Museum unshackled

The New Acropolis Museum is to gain administrative and financial autonomy, according to a draft law which was heralded yesterday by Culture Minister Michalis Liapis and has provoked criticism from state archaeologists.

“The new museum will operate under the strict supervision of the ministry but its legal status will maintain the necessary distance from both the private and traditional state sector that its role demands,” Liapis told reporters.
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May 23, 2008

Athens’s New Acropolis Museum opens briefly

Posted at 8:27 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

The mostly completed New Acropolis Museum was briefly opened to the public free of charge, as part of International Museum day. The Acropolis itself was also opened for free. I was in Athens once before when this day took place & was surprised that the gates were open on the Acropolis with nobody checking tickets – its great that they can have days like this, but it would be even better if they were publicicised more in advance rather than afterwards.

From:
Athens News Agency

05/22/2008
Acropolis Museum briefly opens

Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis toured the new Acropolis Museum on Sunday, on the occasion of the International Museum Day, where he expressed a hope that archaeological sites and museums will become part of citizens’ everyday routine.

According to figures released on Sunday, 4,000 people visited the museum and more than 5,500 entered the Acropolis-related archaeological sites.
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May 18, 2008

The universal museum – from Benin to Chicago

Posted at 8:24 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Popularised as a concept in recent years by the British Museum, is the concept of the Universal Museum in the todays world anything more than a marketing strategy for the continued retention of artefacts by the worlds most powerful museums?

From:
Modern Ghana

BENIN TO CHICAGO: IN THE UNIVERSAL MUSEUM?
By Dr. Kwame Opoku
Sat, 17 May 2008
Feature Article

“And I am left thinking that the “Enlightenment principles on which public museums in the United States were established” have perhaps contributed to the irreversible destruction of our universal, or cosmopolitan, cultural heritage”.

David Gill, Collecting Antiquities and Enlightenment Principles (1)

…The exhibition, Benin: Kings and Rituals Court Arts from Nigeria, goes to the Art Institute of Chicago (A.I.C.) from July 10 – September 21, 2008 as the final station of this travelling exhibition which, starting in Vienna, generated debates about restitution of stolen art, went to Paris and Berlin. It is to be noted that the exhibition which is the biggest ever held on Benin art will not be seen in Nigeria. It goes next to Chicago. But what kind of institution is the Art Institute of Chicago?
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May 16, 2008

The British Museum’s de-acessioning policy

Posted at 3:27 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku looks at the British Museum’s de-accessioning policy & concludes that once an item is in the museum it is very difficult for it to leave the system at a later date – no matter what the reasons.

From:
Ligali

Is the de-accession policy of the British Museum a farce?
Submitted By: Dr Kwame Opoku
Date: Thu 15 May 2008

Dr Kwame Opoku conducts a forensic analysis of the British museums de-accession policy and concludes that it really reads “once in the British museum, always in the British museum”.

Normally, in cases of claims for stolen property or illegally detained objects, it is sufficient for the owner to establish beyond reasonable doubt that he is the rightful owner of the object in dispute and that the present holder of the object has no lawful right to the object. The present holder of the object then has to establish his right e.g. that he bought the object lawfully from a third party.
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May 14, 2008

The looting of Baghdad

Posted at 1:37 pm in Similar cases

The looting in Baghdad following the fall of Iraq has been a recurring topic in the news for the last few years. It is interesting, not least because it brings home to people the reality of many acquisitions from archaeological sites, which is probably far closer to the truth than the image of an English gentleman picking up a few select items for their country residence. Certainly, the latter happened – but in many cases it was preceded by the former more brutal style of acquisition.

Peter Stone and Joanne Farchakh have written a new book on the subject which is reviewed in The Times.

Also, I thought it worthwhile at this point though to mention a book by one of the key people involved in trying to unravel the current situation – Matthew Bogdanos who I met in Athens in March has been largely responsible for leading recovery efforts, first on the ground in Iraq & now from within the US as he tackles the international art trafficking networks head on. His book is available in paperback soon.

From:
The Times

From The Times
May 9, 2008
The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq by Peter Stone and Joanne Farchakh
Reviewed by Mary Beard
Bajjaly Boydell, £50; 352pp

THE TWO MOST FAMOUS words ever spoken by Donald Rumsfeld – “Stuff happens” – were given in response to persistent questioning in April, 2003 about the looting of Baghdad, including the National Museum. Rumsfeld did not have a clue what had happened to the 5,000-year-old Wark Vase, or the thousands of other antiquities that had been systematically lifted; nor did he much care.
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Denmark denies looting artefacts from Bahrain

Posted at 1:23 pm in Similar cases

Danish officials have issued denials that expeditions from their country during the 1970s were involved in the illegal looting of artefacts from Bahrain.

From:
Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)

Denmark denies theft charges
14th May 2008
By GEOFFREY BEW

DANISH officials yesterday hit back at allegations that their country stole some of Bahrain’s ancient national treasures.

Shura Council members Huda Nonoo and Faisal Fulad demanded artefacts discovered by Danish teams during expeditions in the 1970s be returned immediately during its weekly meeting on Monday.
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