Showing results 37 - 48 of 50 for the month of July, 2008.

July 7, 2008

Is there good reason for the Elgin Marbles to remain in Britain?

Posted at 1:29 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

James Cuno’s new book expounds his views that we should not be moving towards more reunifications of artefacts. The Daily Telegraph (somewhat predictably) chooses to agree with him in their review of his new book, although others have already pointed out the numerous flaws in his reasoning.

Daily Telegraph

Why the Elgin Marbles should stay
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 06/07/2008

Jonathan Keates reviews Who Owns Antiquity?: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage by James Cuno

Connoisseurs of little-known facts will rejoice in the existence of a department of Unesco called the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation.

Besides defying all efforts to reduce it to a manageable acronym, the name surely deserves some sort of accolade for its verbosity.
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The New Acropolis Museum is a place fit for Greece’s greatest treasures

Posted at 1:15 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The opening of the New Acropolis Museum later this year will represent one of the most significant events in the museums world for some time – not necessarily because of the building’s facilities, but because of what it will stand for. The question remains though over whether the British Museum will acknowledge this fact & allow the Elgin Marbles to be reunited in their rightful home.

The Sunday Times

From The Sunday Times
July 6, 2008
The new Greek Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis will this year have a museum fit for Greece’s greatest treasure, the Elgin Marbles
Mark Hodson

A new museum will open in Athens later this year. No big deal, you might think. You’d be wrong. The New Acropolis Museum is not merely a dazzling piece of modernist architecture, but the latest gambit in a 200-year campaign for the return of the Elgin Marbles.

The museum, which has been 30 years in the planning and has cost the Greek government more than £100m, will at last provide a permanent home for the greatest treasures of the classical period, safe from the city’s corrosive, polluted air.
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Stelios’s issues with the Elgin Marbles issue

Posted at 1:08 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Following recent publicity about his advert campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Stelios Hadji-Ioannou appears dis-satisfied with the way things are progressing. Whilst there are issues for both sides over whatever sort of deal might be reached though, I very much doubt that Stelios has given up on the issue yet. This seems more like wishful thinking on the part of the Telegraph, a paper who have (with a few notable exceptions) generally come out as strongly against reunification of the Elgin Marbles whenever the issue has been raised.

Daily Telegraph

Gordon Brown won’t holiday in Cliff Richard’s Barbados villa
By Tim Walker
Last Updated: 8:54PM BST 04/07/2008


A game of Elgin Marbles

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou appears to have conceded defeat in his battle to return the Elgin Marbles to Athens.

“The Greeks don’t seem to understand that the marbles are not owned by the British Government but by a trust,” the founder of easyJet told Mandrake at The Spectator summer party.
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No hand held electronic guides for Greek archaeological sites

Posted at 12:58 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology

It appears that the electronic guides to some of Greece’s key archaeological sites are unfortunately no longer going to go ahead. It is a shame that this project is likely to be cancelled, as it would have provided an opportunity for the country to lead the way in defining how a major archaeology site should operate in the twenty-first century.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Monday July 7, 2008
Hand-held guides for site visitors unlikely

A plan to make hand-held electronic guides available this year to visitors at 15 of the most significant archaeological sites around Greece are likely to be scrapped because of Culture Ministry delays that would require an agreement with the provider of the gadgets, a consortium that includes Siemens, to be extended.

The arrival of the battery-powered, touchscreen devices that weigh just 270 grams was heralded in March 2007 as improving the experience visitors would have at sites including the Acropolis and National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Delphi, Ancient Olympia, Mycenae, Vergina, Epidaurus and Knossos in Crete.
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The New Acropolis Museum is nearly complete

Posted at 12:54 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

After visiting Athens, Mary Beard has concluded that the spaces within the New Acropolis Museum are very impressive & live up to all expectations. She is still not convinced however about how well the outside sits with the rest of the city. Personally, I think that in a few years, people will get used to its look & learn to appreciate it as part of the city.

The Times blogs

June 30, 2008
The New Acropolis Museum is good . . .

. . . from the inside at least. I’m not so sure about the outside.

I’ve been in Athens for a few days and the main purpose was to see round the New Acropolis Museum, nearly finished and with a few sculptures already installed. My expectations were a bit muted, and I’d read rather too much about the whole thing being a mausoleum for the missing Elgin Marbles.

Actually it was, in all sorts of ways, a very nice surprise. The top floor where the Parthenon Marbles are to be displayed worked especially well – looking directly at the temple on the Acropolis itself and, as the jargon goes, having “a conversation” with it (though one of my Greek friends did mutter darkly about it being a rather one-sided conversation).
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July 5, 2008

Has James Cuno become a “nationalist retentionist”?

Posted at 10:06 pm in Similar cases

James Cuno has tarred just about anyone asking for the return of artefacts as a nationalist retentionist. He argues that many of the artefacts in question were formed by different nations from those currently located in the same geographic region that are asking for the pieces to be returned. Whilst this may be true though, this makes for a fairly weak case in justifying their retention in somewhere such as New York or London, as they were clearly never produced with these locations in mind either.

Up to this point, Cuno can be seen as merely misguided in his reasoning. The question is though, whether something far more insidious is taking place in his arguments & that Cuno is himself a nationalist retentionist, who plays by a different set of rules to those that he applies to the actions of others.


Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 04 July 2008

James Cuno, Director, Art Institute of Chicago, has become known for his constant attacks on those he terms “nationalist retentionists” and who, according to him, pretend to be successors to ancient civilizations and inheritors of their cultural objects with which they have no real connections except that these objects happen to be within the territories of the present nation States.

In his recent book, Who owns Antiquity? Cuno declares: “What is the relationship between, say, modern Egypt and the antiquities that were part of the land’s Pharaonic past? The people of modern-day Cairo do not speak the language of the ancient Egyptians, do not practice their religion, do not make their art, wear their dress, eat their food, or play their music, and do not adhere to the same kind of laws or form of government the ancient Egyptians did.”(1)
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July 4, 2008

Artefacts return to Shetland temporarily

Posted at 12:46 pm in Similar cases

Pictish art that was found on Shetland is going to return home temporarily from the National Museum of Scotland. Many islanders though want to know why they can’t have it back permanently.

Shetland News

The treasure…it’s back!
Hans J Marter
4 July, 2008

PERHAPS the most outstanding find of Pictish art has returned to Shetland to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its discovery.

However the return of the St Ninian’s Isle treasure, 41 years after it was last on display in the isles, is not without controversy.
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July 3, 2008

Leaflet distribution outside the British Museum this Saturday

Posted at 9:53 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A reminder, that Lazaros Filippidis is organising a distribution of leaflets outside the British Museum this Saturday (5th July).

See the earlier post for more details & come along to help if you can spare the time.

Marbles Reunited campaign office opens

Posted at 8:49 pm in Marbles Reunited

The Marbles Reunited campaign now have a campaign director to work full time on managing their campaign & leading it forward. Their campaign office opened earlier this week.

If anyone wants to find out more details about the campaign, the office telephone number is: +44 (0)20 7930 1813. More details on the future plans for the campaign will be posted on the Marbles Reunited website in due course.

Was MacGregor ever really offered the Met Job?

Posted at 12:41 pm in British Museum

Lee Rosenbaum offers some thoughts on whether the idea that Neil MacGregor was offered the job of director of the Met was all down to distortion of the issue by headline writers.

Read her piece here.

At the same time Norman Lebrecht uses this news as another chance to extol the virtues of MacGregor & the British Museum in a tone that seems almost too adulatory to be believable. If only the residents of all the countries hoping for artefacts to be returned were as excited by this news.

Read his piece on the news here.

July 2, 2008

Durham may regain the Lindisfarne Gospels

Posted at 1:43 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The chances of the Lindisfarne Gospels returning to North East England may be increasing. Could the Lewis Chessmen be the next intra-national restitution case to see progress?

Financial Times

Durham hopes to regain Gospels
By Chris Tighe
Published: June 28 2008 03:00 | Last updated: June 28 2008 03:00

Almost five centuries since Henry VIII’s thugs looted Durham Cathedral and stole the Lindisfarne Gospels, hopes are rising that this stunning work of art may return to its spiritual home.

A monument to the Golden Age of the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria, the 1,300-year-old manuscript created on Holy Island, off the Northumberland coast, has acquired something of the mystique of a holy relic.
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MacGregor will be staying at British Museum for another four years

Posted at 1:39 pm in British Museum

When Philippe de Montebello announced his retirement from New York’s Metropolitan Museum, British Museum director Neil MacGregor was one of the people tipped to replace him. The British Museum has just announced though that although he was offered the post, he has turned it down with the intention of staying with the British Museum until 2012.

During the next four years though, whilst MacGregor may continue trying to resist change, he may find that he is left with little choice, with the carpet being swept out from under him by changing views on restitution in the Museums’ world.

Daily Telegraph

British Museum director says no to Metropolitan Museum of Art move
By Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor
Last Updated: 6:42PM BST 01/07/2008
British Museum director Neil MacGregor has turned down a job as head of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mr MacGregor was approached as a possible replacement for Philippe de Montebello, who is stepping down as Met director at the end of this year.

But after weighing up the offer, he has pledged his future to the British Museum for another five year term.
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