Showing results 37 - 46 of 46 for the month of July, 2009.

July 6, 2009

Voluntary restitution of artefacts

Posted at 10:14 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Whilst some museums refuse to return (or even allow access to) artefacts despite extensive pressure put on them to do so, one institution has returned an artefact without even being asked. The reason for this action was that the museum felt that it was the right thing to do.

Modern Ghana

5th July 2009
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.

Sometimes, certain acts occur which make us believe that there is still chance for humankind and that not all persons have allowed themselves to be swept by greed and thirst for power over others.

The report about the return by Seattle Art Museum (SAM) to Australian Aborigines of a ceremonial object, without being requested by the owners, may appear to many as a small matter in itself. However, when one takes into account the discussions on restitution of cultural objects to their rightful owners, this act acquires added significance.*
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July 4, 2009

Lord Elgin & some stones of no value

Posted at 9:22 pm in Elgin Marbles

In 1985, film director Christopher Miles (who is also now a member of the Marbles Reunited campaign) made a film about the Parthenon Marbles. The film was shown on Channel 4, but there have also been private viewings of it at the Houses of Parliament & Greenwich University in the last few years.

Thoroughly researched, the film is structured in an interesting way, where rather than a merely historical retelling of the story, much of it is based on the text of the actual letters sent back to England by Elgin – but then the scenes cut back to the modern day studio where the actors discuss the issues amongst themselves based on the information that we know now. It is also the first film to feature a very young looking Hugh Grant (playing William Hamilton – Elgin’s Private Secretary), alongside Lord Elgin played by Nigel Havers.

Christopher has now put a lot of information (original images from the filming, plus his own comments on the film etc.) on his website.

Read more about the film here.

Dimitrios Pantermalis reflects on the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 9:02 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Few people have had such a long running involvement with the New Acropolis Museum project as Professor Dimitrios Pantermalis. Visitors to the construction site of the museum will have regularly seen him, sowing people around & explaining about his plans for the display of artefacts within the building. He has acted as a representative of the government during the course of the building of the museum – an agent making key day to day decisions, so that quick answers could be given rather than referring everything to committees before there could be a response. As any architect knows, a great client is a vital ingredient in creating a great building – anyone who has visited the New Acropolis Museum will agree about its greatness.

Athens Plus

Dimitrios Pandermalis looks back on achievement so far and forward to further projects ahead
From classroom to construction hat: New Acropolis Museum a work in progress

On the corner of his desk, new Acropolis Museum board president Dimitrios Pandermalis keeps an apt symbol of his labors – a replica head of an early Classical statue, wearing a white construction hat.

For the soft-spoken archaeologist, it’s easy to see the appeal of the juxtaposition. Now an emeritus professor, Pandermalis spent decades in the classroom at the University of Thessaloniki before coming to public life, first as a member of Parliament in the mid-90s and then as director of the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum beginning in 2000. And according to several of his colleagues who spoke to Athens Plus this week, it is precisely his ability to blend the academic and the pragmatic, the theoretical and the project-based, the sculptural eye and the construction-hat mentality that has made him – and the museum whose board he now leads – a success.
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July 3, 2009

Cyprus Parliament calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece

Posted at 12:59 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The Cyprus House of Representatives has called for “all countries as well as UNESCO to renew and intensify their efforts for the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece”.

Athens News Agency

Cyprus House call for Marbles

The Cyprus House of Representatives has called for the return of Parthenon sculptures to Greece. In a resolution which the House plenary adopted unanimously on Thursday, Cypriot MPs called on the British government and every other competent authority of the United Kingdom to give a definite end to the adventure of the Marbles, by returning them to their natural space.

Having debated the issue of the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece and taking into consideration the opening of the New Acropolis Museum, the House called on all countries as well as UNESCO to renew and intensify their efforts for the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece ”and for the reintegration of this unique element of the global cultural heritage to the natural space where it belongs”.
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July 2, 2009

Twelve thousand people per day visiting the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 4:13 pm in New Acropolis Museum

More coverage of the successful first few days since the opening of the New Acropolis Museum.


Successful first days for the Acropolis Museum
01 July 2009

The new Acropolis Museum, which was officially opened on June 20th, is finding itself a fundamental place in the Athenian life. The dozed off neighborhood around the streets “Makriyanni,” “Hadzihristou,” and “Mitzeon,” which were suffering the long construction period, are now turning into the liveliest part of the Greek capital. The patience of shop and coffee house owners, whose patience was running out because of the construction, is finally going to pay off. Long lines of tourists from all over the world are formed in front of the elegant building of the museum. 120 000 people have visited the museum for the first 10 days of its opening, which means that there were 12 000 people per day!

During the first five days, tickets could be bought only online and daily, 11 000 tickets were sold. Many people prefer to reserve their tickets over the phone and others – through a tourist agency. Right now, the Acropolis Museum is working on a longer day – from 08:00AM until 08:00PM but the lines start forming long before the opening hour. All celebrities, who come to Athens, also visit the museum. The mentioned stretched working times will remain until the end of 2009.
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The best location for the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 4:05 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The Parthenon Marbles have been displayed in London for nearly two hundred years & many people have benefited from them being there during that time. Now though, it is time for the British Museum to re-asses the situation & consider whether they would be better displayed in Greece.

New York Times

Majestic in Exile
Published: June 18, 2009

As a Greek, I have to visit the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum whenever I am in London.

I understand the strong feelings of my compatriots who want to see these unsurpassed sculptures returned home, ending the wrong done by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, two centuries ago. I feel the sense of dislocation — the incongruity — of the brilliance of Classical Athens at its peak trapped in a dull northern light, carried off by a foreign aristocrat and sold at a time when Greece itself was enslaved and its people unable to prevent the looting of their treasures.
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President of the European Parliament shown around the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 3:55 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Hans-Gert Pöttering, the president of the European Parliament has been shown around the New Acropolis Museum & spoke positively about it whilst on a visit to Greece.


01 Jul 2009
Karamanlis-Pöttering Meeting

Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met Wednesday with Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, at Maximos Mansion. The two men discussed the developments in the European Union after the June European elections, the financial turmoil and the Lisbon Treaty. The Greek Premier thanked Pöttering, whose term is about to expire, for the excellent level of cooperation they had. Pöttering, on his part, praised Greece for its contribution to the strengthening of the institutions of the European Union with the ratification of the Treaty. After the meeting, the President of the European Parliament toured the New Acropolis Museum.

The two men exchanged views on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty and the enhancement of the European Parliament’s role. Karamanlis assured Pöttering that Greece will support the work and initiatives of the European Parliament.
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July 1, 2009

Why should the Greeks build a statue of Lord Elgin in Athens?

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, International Association, New Acropolis Museum

Richard Dorment’s article in the Daily Telegraph unsurprisingly provoked many angry responses on the newspaper’s comments page. Not least, were the claims that the sculptures have been, & would continue to be, better displayed & looked after in the British Museum than in the New Acropolis Museum.

London Daily News

01 July, 2009 12:03 (GMT +01:00)
“Greeks should build a statue to Lord Elgin in Athens”, Telegraph editorial
International News

In what is becoming an increasingly protracted debate, the issue of the reunification of the stolen marbles of the Parthenon took a new dynamic with a highly provocative editorial by Richard Dorment the arts editor of the Daily Telegraph calling for the Greeks to “erect a statue of Lord Elgin near the Parthenon to express their nation’s gratitude to him for saving the marbles”.

Ironically an extensive report published in 1999 by world archeological experts found that the “Elgin marbles” morphology had suffered as a result of the “misguided efforts to make them whiter than white”. The report went onto to say :
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The New Acropolis Museum – a building thirty years in the making

Posted at 1:01 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum is a building that has been beset by many delays, but since it has opened, many people have noticed that it has already started to transform the surrounding area. It is only the first prong of attack however, & now that it is completed it leaves the route opening for concerted efforts by Greece to secure the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.


The battle for the Parthenon marbles
Following the success of the newly opened Acropolis Museum, Greek officials are more determined than ever to retrieve their missing heritage. Helena Smith reports from Athens
Tuesday 30 June 2009 17.43 BST

For as long as most Athenians can remember, the intersection of Makriyianni and Dionysiou Areopagitou streets was a nondescript place, the preserve of those bent on illicitly parking their cars on the narrow alleys of the historic Plaka district.

Nine days after the opening of the New Acropolis Museum, this little slice of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis rock is a place transformed. Where vehicles once clogged the streets, there are street cafes, people and performance artists – Greeks such as Anita Papachristou who, like a modern-day pilgrim, makes a point of dropping in to behold the behemoth that looks set to become Greece’s 21st-century shrine. “We waited for it long enough,” she says, looking up at the honey-coloured Parthenon marble, illuminated along the length and breadth of the museum’s upper floor. “And now that it’s here, I can say it’s been worth waiting for.”
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Greece unveils the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:55 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

For many Greeks, the New Acropolis Museum is more than just a building – it has become a symbol of their pride in their country & their aspirations for their country.

Daily Telegraph

Acropolis Museum: Athens unveils its bid for the Marbles
Greece’s New Acropolis Museum is a formidable rival to the British Museum and has renewed debate about the Elgin Marbles.
By Teresa Levonian Cole
Published: 5:00PM BST 30 Jun 2009

‘The opening of the New Acropolis Museum was one of the most emotional experiences of my life” says Tina Daskalantonakis, a Greek hotelier. “It is more than a museum – it is a symbol of national pride and hope for the future.”

The museum in question crouches 300 metres below the Acropolis. An angular behemoth of glass, steel, concrete and marble housing some 4,000 artefacts, it is the culmination of an idea first mooted by Konstantinos Karamanlis’s Conservative government in 1976 and, since the early 1980s, passionately advocated by the Socialist minister of culture Melina Mercouri: the creation of a home in which the Parthenon Marbles can be reunited and displayed to the world.
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