Showing results 1 - 12 of 23 for the month of April, 2009.

April 26, 2009

June opening planned for the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:49 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Gradually more information is becoming available on the nature of the opening events planned for the New Acropolis Museum. Various dignitaries visiting Greece have also already been given a preview of the site.

Agence France Presse

Acropolis museum to open in June: minister

ATHENS (AFP) — The ultra-modern Acropolis museum, situated below the ancient landmark that defines the Greek capital Athens, will belatedly open in June, Greek Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said Sunday.

“We are preparing a jewel of a museum whose opening on June 20 will be a major, global event,” said Samaras after giving European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso a guided tour of the venue.
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April 24, 2009

The acquisition of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:11 pm in Elgin Marbles

In the parliamentary debate leading up to the British Government’s acquisition of the Parthenon Marbles, the Society of Dilettanti gave various accounts. Their evidence though shows that what people then thought of as Greek sculpture was something quite different to the real thing, which they had trouble identifying.

New York Review of Books

Volume 56, Number 8 · May 14, 2009
A Silly, Very Cultured Club
By Ingrid D. Rowland
Dilettanti: The Antic and the Antique in Eighteenth-Century England
by Bruce Redford

J. Paul Getty Museum/Getty Research Institute, 220 pp., $49.95

Bruce Redford’s Dilettanti is not itself a dilettantish work, for the book’s succinctness and lightness of touch reflect skill of the highest order. Still, there is an evident link between Redford’s fine-tuned scholarship and the sense of sheer delight (Italian diletto ) that gave its name to the Society of Dilettanti, devoted to the study of ancient Greek and Roman art, when it was formed in 1734. That link is distilled in the motto of this peculiarly English gentlemen’s club, Seria Ludo; the paradoxical Latin phrase meant that in their playfulness, ludo, they also addressed serious matters, seria.[1]
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James Cuno double bill

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Now that James Cuno has contributed to two books trying to justify retention of cultural property, the New York Review of books has looked at both of these publications together.

New York Review of Books

Volume 56, Number 8 · May 14, 2009
Who Should Own the World’s Antiquities?
By Hugh Eakin
Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage
by James Cuno

Princeton University Press, 228 pp., $24.95
Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities
edited by James Cuno
Princeton University Press, 220 pp.. $24.95

See the related article, The Affair of the Chinese Bronze Heads.


Last June, the directors of the leading art museums of the United States agreed to limit their acquisitions of antiquities to works that have left their “country of probable modern discovery” before 1970, or that were exported legally after that date. On the face of it, the decision, issued by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), did no more than update guidelines for ancient art—one of a number of such policy refinements by the association in recent years. In fact, however, it announced a tectonic shift in museum thinking about collecting art and artifacts of the distant past, a change that was unimaginable even five years ago.
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April 23, 2009

Parliamentary bill on Nazi-looted art

Posted at 12:51 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The signs are promising that Andrew Dismore’s bill to allow the restitution of art looted during the holocaust may become law. This is a step that must be welcomed, yet such measures as this & the Human Tissue Act highlight the need for coherent legislation that tackles all restitution issues, rather than piecemeal laws that only manage to be passed by skirting around the big restitution cases.

The Art Newspaper

UK parliament closer to passing bill allowing museums to deaccession Nazi-looted art
Legislation expected to be limited to 1933-1945 only
By Martin Bailey
Posted online: 23.4.09 |

LONDON. A Private Members’ Bill is to be presented for its second reading in parliament on 15 May, to allow UK national museums to deaccession art works spoliated during the Nazi period.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is expected to support the bill, subject to drafting changes, which will greatly increase its chances of eventually becoming law. The DCMS originally hoped to incorporate a clause allowing deaccessioning of Nazi-era spoliation into the Heritage Protection Bill, but last December the bill was dropped, because of pressure of government business in Parliament.
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Looted treasures returned by Britain go on show

Posted at 12:46 pm in Similar cases

If stuff has been looted in recent times, it appears that it is imperative that it is returned to its rightful owners. Unfortunately, older cases are regularly brushed aside with the notion that we should accept their legitimacy (despite no clear reasons to do so). Where the situation warrants such measures, then any return of artefacts is to be welcomed. Consistency across all cases would be even better though.

Daily Telegraph

Looted Afghan treasure to go on show
Afghan archaeological treasures thousands of years old are to go on display in Kabul after being rescued from smugglers passing through British airports.
By Ben Farmer in Kabul
Last Updated: 5:44PM BST 22 Apr 2009

More than 3,000 antiquities have been returned to Afghanistan after being confiscated by British customs officers and identified by the British Museum.

Situated at the crossroads of Asia and washed by centuries of trade, migration and invasion, Afghanistan has one of the richest archaeological heritages in the world.
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April 22, 2009

Whose Culture – continued

Posted at 1:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku concludes his piece on James Cuno’s new book on cultural property.


Comments on James Cuno´s “Whose culture” – Part 2 and End
Datum: 22.04.09 14:00
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst

Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku


Cuno ends his introduction with a statement which many of us could easily subscribe to in so far as it appears to be a call for dialogue: “This book will not be the final word in the debate over antiquities. But we hope it will add a new angle to the frame within which the discussion henceforth takes place. Nothing is more important to the fate of the preservation and greater understanding of our world’s common ancient past and antique legacy than we resolve the differences that divide the various parties in the dispute. Warfare and sectarian violence, which is destroying evidence of the past faster and more surely than the destruction of archaeological sites by looters, is beyond our control. Differences among museum professionals, university- and museum-based scholars, archaeologists, their sympathizers, national politicians, and international agencies should not be.” (63)
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Cuno´s ‘Whose Culture’

Posted at 1:04 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku looks at James Cuno’s latest efforts to persuade the world that it is right that disputed cultural artefacts should be retained by the big museums of the western world.


Comments on James Cuno´s “Whose Culture” – Part 1
Datum: 22.04.09 14:36
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku

“The restitution of those cultural objects which our museums and collections, directly or indirectly, possess thanks to the colonial system and are now being demanded, must also not be postponed with cheap arguments and tricks.”

Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause. (1984)


“Whose Culture? The modern nations within whose borders antiquities — the ancient artifacts of peoples long disappeared — happen to have been found? Or the world’s peoples, heirs to antiquity as the foundation of culture that has never known political borders but has always been fluid, mongrel, made from contact with new, strange, and wonderful things?
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April 21, 2009

A preview of the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:50 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

As the opening of the New Acropolis Museum draws closer, more details are starting to be revealed about how it will look inside.


Peep Insights: Athens’s New Acropolis Museum
April 20, 2009

Athens just announced that the long-anticipated New Acropolis Museum will finally open this summer on June 20th. The ambitious museum and conservation project, almost 30 years in the making, calls for a state-of-the-art facility in the middle of the city’s historic center.

Although we were disappointed to have to wait another few months, our recent sneak peek of the galleries left us more than impressed. Instead of throwing up columns and attempting to blend into the ancient cityscape, the museum is completely abstract and modern. The controversial design resembles a stack of mislaid books, with the top floor askew to parallel the foundations of the nearby Parthenon, the middle floors a trapezoidal display area, and the bottom layer outlining the on-site archeological dig.
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How will the New Acropolis Museum affect Athens

Posted at 12:46 pm in New Acropolis Museum

This article looks at the effects that the New Acropolis Museum will have on the area surrounding it – & why some Athenians are pleased with it while others are not.

Financial Times

Acropolis now
By Kerin Hope
Published: April 18 2009 01:10 | Last updated: April 18 2009 01:10

Lights blaze after dark in the glass-and-concrete galleries of the new museum at the foot of the Acropolis hill as curators work overtime to prepare for its long-awaited opening on June 20.

Architect Bernard Tschumi’s pared-down rectangular block, with a top-floor space for the Parthenon frieze that mirrors the dimensions and orientation of the famous classical temple, is already an Athens landmark. About 1m tourists are expected to pass through its doors every year but the Swiss-born Tschumi and his Greek associate Michael Photiadis are keen for the new Acropolis museum to attract local residents too. Along with an unparalleled collection of ancient sculpture, it offers cafés with a spectacular view, a bookshop, an auditorium and space for temporary exhibitions.
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April 20, 2009

Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day

Posted at 1:06 pm in Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the celebration of Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in Greece.

Athens News Agency

Philhellenism Day events

The celebration of Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in the Greek Parliament, regularly observed on April 19 in compliance with a Presidential Decree signed last year, will this year be postponed until the following week so as not to coincide with the Orthodox Easter Sunday.

April 19 was proclaimed Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day at the initiative of Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas, commemorating the anniversary of the death of the famous poet and philhellene Lord Byron, a human rights advocate and among the first to voice opposition to the looting of the Parthenon Marbles by Lord Elgin.
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April 14, 2009

Tajik parliament approves restitution treaty

Posted at 1:00 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Tajikistan’s government has approved a new bill in an attempt to aid them in various restitution cases where items of their heritage have ended up in foreign museums.

Radio Free Europe

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tajik Parliament Approves Controversial Restitution Treaty

DUSHANBE — The Tajik parliament’s lower house has approved the CIS Treaty on Restitution, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports.

Deputy Culture Minister Mirali Dostiev told the parliament that ratification of the treaty would help bring back home all the artwork and historic valuables lost and stolen during the 1992-97 civil war in Tajikistan.
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April 7, 2009

Tschumi’s New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:53 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum is designed specifically for the purpose of presenting an unparalleled collection of ancient artefacts – some of which unfortunately will not be there when it opens.

Arch Innovations

The New Acropolis Museum, Designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects
Tuesday, 07 April 2009

The historic masterpieces of the New Acropolis Museum—from the archaeological remains of ancient Athens left visible beneath the building to the glorious Parthenon frieze installed at the top— will be displayed in total for the first time when the Museum celebrates its much-anticipated official opening on Saturday, June 20, 2009.

Designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects of New York/Paris with Michael Photiadis of Athens as local associate architect, the Museum has presented a number of temporary exhibitions in a lower-floor gallery over the past year. With the official opening, visitors will at last view the full suite of galleries, presented in a dramatic architectural experience designed explicitly for this collection.
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