Showing results 13 - 23 of 23 for the month of April, 2009.

April 6, 2009

How long must we wait for the return of Benin artefacts?

Posted at 12:48 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

In response to this article, Kwame Opoku writes again on the plight of the Benin bronzes, strewn across the museums of Europe & the USA. A breakdown of the numbers suggests that the largest proportion of these artefacts are located in the British Museum.

Modern Ghana

By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article
5th April 2009

Feature Article : “The Author’s/Authors’ views do not necessarily reflect those of ModernGhana.

In an interview reproduced below from the PUNCH, the Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Dr. Joe. Eboreima gives his views of the question of the restitution of stolen/looted Nigerian artefacts, especially, the Benin Bronzes which the British looted in their infamous invasion of Benin in 1897. The National Commission is the supreme authority on matters relating to monuments and museums in Nigeria and therefore an important body on the question of the restitution of Nigerian artefacts, thousands of which are lying, unused and neglected in European and American museums which have no space for their excessive number of objects..

The exhibition mentioned in the interview is Benin Kings and Rituals – Court Arts from Nigeria ,organized in May 2007 by the Museum for Ethnology, Vienna, the Museum for Ethnology, Berlin, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, with the cooperation of the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments and the Royal Family of Benin.
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April 5, 2009

Looted Benin artefacts could be worth over £1.3 billion

Posted at 1:02 pm in Similar cases

Mnay excuses are made by museums for continued retention of disputed artefacts. These aretefacts are often important to the original owners from a cultural perspective, but in many cases also have a significant monetary value attached to them that can not be ignored.

The Punch (Nigeria)

Looted Benin artefacts, others may be worth N313bn
By Akeem Lasisi
Published: Thursday, 2 Apr 2009

As prices of art works continue to appreciate in the local and international markets, agitators for the repatriation of about 6,500 Nigerian antiquities illegally being held in various museums and other collections in European countries and beyond have put the monetary value at N313bn.

Mostly involved are Benin bronzes, ivories and other ancient works looted by British colonialists, especially during the reprisal attacks launched by the Queen‘s soldiers against natives trying to resist imperialism in 1897.
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Philhelenism day

Posted at 12:52 pm in Elgin Marbles

April 19th has been designated Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in Greece. This commemorates the death of Lord Byron – one of the first people to speak out about the removal for the Elgin Marbles.

Athens News Agency

Pavlopoulos on Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday signed a circular calling for the observance of April 19 as the Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in compliance with a Presidential Decree signed last year. The circular mentions that this year the celebration will be moved to April 26 due to the Easter Holiday.

April 19 has been proclaimed Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day commemorating the anniversary of the death of 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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Controversies over restitution claims

Posted at 12:38 pm in Similar cases

In recent weeks, there have been a number of controversial auctions involving looted artefacts. The attention that these auctions have attracted highlights how strongly many people feel about cultural property cases.

Digital Chosun ilbo (Korea)

Updated Mar.30,2009 12:59 KST
Efforts for the Return of Our Heritage Must Continue

Gandhi’s personal effects went up for sale at auction in New York on Mar. 6 and were bought by an Indian billionaire. Among his belongings were also a pocket watch, his sandals, and a bowl. Gandhi had presented the iconic round spectacles to a British colonel during the 1930s, telling him that they had given him the vision to free India. The leather sandals were given to a British officer before a roundtable meeting on Indian independence in 1931 because the officer took photographs of Gandhi.

News that these memorabilia were being auctioned off sparked outrage among India’s 1.1 billion people. The government and Gandhi’s descendents expressed their objections, saying it was an insult to Gandhi’s memory. The American seller responded he would cancel the auction if the Indian government sharply increased its spending on the poor by cutting its defense budget in half.
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April 4, 2009

Earth Hour starts at the Acropolis

Posted at 1:01 pm in Acropolis

The Acropolis in Athens was chosen as the starting point for Earth Hour – something that highlights the international significance that a building well over 2000 years old still continues to hold today.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Lights dimmed on the Acropolis for Earth Hour
Science News

Athens – Lights went out on the Acropolis for Earth Hour 2009, and hundreds of residents in the Athens neighborhood of Plaka walked around with lanterns beneath the ancient rock for an hour to highlight the threat from climate change.

Environmental group WWF, which started the global event to turn out the lights at prominent landmarks, homes and businesses, is hoping 1 billion people will take part this year to draw attention to climate change.
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April 3, 2009

Allowing the return of looted art to its owners

Posted at 1:01 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the proposed new law in Britain allowing restitution of artworks looted during the Nazi era.

Britain News

UK ministers planning to return art looted by Nazis to owners
Britain News.Net
Sunday 29th March, 2009 (ANI)

London, Mar 29 : Ministers in Britain are all set to support a new law that would allow museums in the country to return artwork looted by the Nazis to Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

The bill, named the Holocaust (stolen art) restitution bill, would change the legislation that forbids national museums and galleries, including the British Museum, British Library and National Gallery, from disposing of items in their collections.
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The Holocaust (stolen art) Restitution Bill

Posted at 12:45 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage on the proposed changes in the law that will increase the opportunities for museums in Britain to deaccession artefacts if they feel that there is a need to do so.

Daily Telegraph

Art looted by Nazis to be returned to owners
Art works looted by the Nazis could be returned to Holocaust survivors and their descendants under plans by ministers
By Alastair Jamieson
Last Updated: 11:19AM GMT 28 Mar 2009

A government bill would soften a long-standing ban on museums selling items of national importance in their collections.

The Holocaust (stolen art) Restitution Bill would allow curators to return paintings and other artefacts to families who did not wish them to remain in national collections.
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April 2, 2009

New law to allow return of Nazi loot

Posted at 1:01 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

After extensive consultation & deliberations, it seems that attempts to change the law in Britain to allow the restitution of artefacts looted during the nazi era may finally be coming to fruition with Andrew Dismore’s Holocaust (stolen art) restitution bill. I have mentioned before about some of the contradictory aspects of the proposed law, which though welcomed highlights the need for consistent legislation to cover all artefacts rather than creating special cases.

The Guardian

Plan for art looted by Nazis to be returned to owners
Jenny Percival
The Guardian, Saturday 28 March 2009

Ministers are preparing to back a new law that would allow museums to restore artwork looted by the Nazis to Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

The Holocaust (stolen art) restitution bill would reverse legislation that bans national museums and galleries, including the British Museum, British Library and National Gallery, from disposing of items in their collections. Ministers have been promising to change the law for a decade and, after attempts to introduce a government bill collapsed, are preparing to support a private members’ bill introduced by Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon.
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Lindisfarne gospels return home temporarily

Posted at 12:55 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Lindisfarne Gospels are to return to North East England, but only on a temporary visit.

News Post Leader (Newcastle upon Tyne)

Monday, 30th March 2009
Lindisfarne Gospels to make temporary visit to north east
29 March 2009

THE Lindisfarne Gospels are to return to the north east of England, although only temporarily, it has been announced.
The British Library said the historic manuscripts, which were produced on the Northumberland island of Lindisfarne in the late 7th or early 8th century, could return to the region on loan for up to three months every seven years.

Campaigners from have long been fighting to bring the Gospels, which was drawn and illustrated to glorify the memory of St Cuthbert, back to the region permanently.
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April 1, 2009

The Early Day Motion that wasn’t

Posted at 10:15 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Marbles Reunited

Following being the first website to cover Andrew George’s Early Day motion on the Stonehenge megaliths in Greece, it appears that the motion could not be tabled because it did not meet the requirement to have a “reasonable factual basis”.

The press release from Andrew George’s office explains this in more detail.


Wednesday 1st April 2009
For immediate release


Andrew George, MP for the West Cornwall and Isle of Scilly Constituency of St. Ives, has expressed disappointment that parliamentary rules disallowed his proposed Commons motion as tabled last night to be published this morning, Wednesday 1st April 2009. The motion read:
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Early Day Motion on the Stone Henge fragments in Greece

Posted at 12:17 am in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology

The recent discovery of what are thought to be some of the missing megaliths from Stone Henge has been covered extensively in the Greek media during the last week. The stones were found at a site (the location of which is being kept secret whilst a full archaeological study is being carried out) in the Peloponnese. It is thought that they were taken from Britain during Roman times, whilst Greece was also part of the Roman Empire.

What has caused particular controversy in the UK, is the Greeks current refusal to consider returning these stones which are believed to have been an integral part of Britain’s most important historic monument.

Andrew George MP has today tabled an Early Day Motion to gauge the opinions of other MPs on the issue. Previous posts on EDMs explain the purpose of Early Day Motions in the House of Commons.

Parliamentary Information Management Web Site

The Return of the Stonehenge Megaliths from Greece

That this House is euphoric about the news of the discovery of many of the missing megaliths from Stonehenge in a remote and mountainous area of the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece to where they were taken to build an amphitheatre; considers this to be the single most important discovery in British archaeology for more than a century; yet is astounded at the brazen effrontery of the Greek authorities who have scandalously refused their return to Britain where they rightly belong; believes the Greeks have attempted to defend their decision with the kind of shameless and preposterous poppycock of an ancient colonial power; calls on the Greeks to put right the wrongs of their forefathers during that shameful period of ancient Greek imperial history; and asks HM Government on the day of the announcement of this find, April 1st 2009, to answer the extraordinary Greek claim that there is no difference between this and the holding by the British Museum of the Parthenon Marbles.

This follow-up article has more details.