Showing results 1 - 12 of 25 for the month of October, 2009.

October 29, 2009

A new home in Greece for the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 2:05 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Since its opening a few months ago, the New Acropolis Museum has become the strongest argument for the reunification of the surviving Parthenon Marbles in one place, raising their international profile, at the same time as making the case for their return even clearer.

You can listen to this original radio broadcast here.

WBUR (Boston)

Greece Unveils Museum Meant For ‘Stolen’ Sculptures
By Sylvia Poggioli
Published October 19, 2009 1:28 PM

A new, hypermodern museum at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens has a defiant purpose: to convince Britain to give back the symbols of ancient Greek glory, the 2,500-year-old sculptures of the Parthenon that were pried off the temple by Lord Elgin two centuries ago.

For decades, the main argument against the return of the sculptures — known as the Elgin or Parthenon Marbles — was Greece’s lack of a suitable location for their display. The new Acropolis Museum is a stunning rebuttal.
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Will the British Museum ever make the bold gesture of returning the Rosetta Stone?

Posted at 1:54 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Following the Louvre’s decision to return some fragments of frescos to Egypt, one wonders whether the relatively long standing requests to the British Museum for the return of the Rosetta Stone will be properly considered at last.

Modern Ghana

By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Fri, 16 Oct 2009

In an article entitled Egypt asks British Museum for the Rosetta Stone after Louvre victory, the British Daily Telegraph reports that soon after the Louvre has agreed to return the stolen frescoes, Zahi Hawass, the dynamic Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities has asked the British Museum for a loan of the Rosetta Stone. The Telegraph also reports that: “Mr. Hawass acknowledged that seeking the return of the Rosetta Stone was a different proposition from the painted fragments in the Louvre.” The paper adds that: “A spokesman said the British Museum “enjoys good relations” with Egypt and promised to consider Mr Hawass’s request.”(1)

A reader who has not followed discussions on restitution and the efforts by Hawass to secure the return of looted Egyptian artefacts might be forgiven for thinking that emboldened by his recent success with the Louvre, Hawass is now turning attention to the British Museum and making demands. The truth however, is that the request for the return of the Rosetta Stone has been made long ago by the Egyptians. There are at least reports on this demand as far back as 2003.
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China wants to catalogue its artefacts in Museums abroad

Posted at 1:42 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

China hopes to send experts to foreign museums to build a more complete catalogue of the Chinese artefacts looted from Beijing’s Summer Palace in foreign museums (many of which are not on public display).

Agence France Presse

China experts to search abroad for looted relics
(AFP) – 2 days ago

BEIJING — China will send a team of experts to museums around the world in an effort to record more than a million cultural relics it says were looted from Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, state press reported Monday.

Museums, libraries and private collections in the United States, Britain, France and Japan will be the primary targets, the China Daily reported, citing the director of Beijing’s Yuanmingyuan, or Old Summer Palace.
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October 27, 2009

The New Acropolis Museum presents the case for the reunification of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 2:03 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The Architectural Record argues that the New Acropolis Museum represents the most powerful case yet for the reunification of all the surviving Parthenon Sculptures in Athens.

Architectural Record

New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi Architects presents a case for bringing the Elgin Marbles back to Athens in its design for the New Acropolis Museum.
By Suzanne Stephens

After all the controversy, lawsuits, and delays in building the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, it will no doubt seem churlish to point out that the $180 million museum, designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects, is not the firm’s most spectacular work. It lacks the lyrical grace of the stainless-steel-and-concrete Zenith concert hall in Rouen or the finesse of the shimmering, perforated-steel Vacheron Constantin headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to name two. The dour mien of the New Acropolis Museum, with its sharp angles, black-fritted glass (except for a small section of the south wall), and less-than-perfect concrete work evokes High Modernist commercial American buildings of the 1970s.
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October 26, 2009

Call for papers – Museums and Restitution

Posted at 9:47 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events, Similar cases

Submissions are invited for abstracts for a conference on Museums & Restitution to be held at the University of Manchester on 8th & 9th July 2010. Any abstracts should be submitted by 11th December 2009.

Kostas Arvanitis (by email)

Call for papers
Museums and Restitution
International Conference
8-9 July 2010, University of Manchester

Museums and Restitution is a two-day international conference organised by the Centre for Museology and The Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester. The conference examines the issue of restitution in relation to the changing role and authority of the museum, focussing on new ways in which these institutions are addressing the subject.
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A musical campaign for the return of Benin artefacts

Posted at 8:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Most of the artefacts from the ancient Kingdom of Benin that ended up in museums around the world, left the country following the British army’s looting of the country in 1897.

This song (forwarded to my by Kwame Opoku) details the massacre, followed by the (so far unsuccessful) attempts to have some of these artefacts returned to their country of origin. Perhaps someone needs to produce something similar to help publicise the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles & to correct some of the popular misconceptions so that people better understand the true situation.

Listen to (& watch) it here.

Why aren’t the Lewis Chessmen returning permanently

Posted at 2:02 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Although some of the Lewis Chessmen are being loaned to Scotland, many people feel that they should be returned on a more long term arrangement.

Daily Telegraph

Time to repatriate the Scottish chessmen
The Lewis Chessmen belong in Scotland, not England
Published: 12:01AM BST 16 Oct 2009

SIR – While it is fantastic to see 24 of the collection of 82 Lewis Chessmen go on tour in Scotland (report, October 2), it is now time for the return of all the 12th-century chessmen to the Western Isles.

The pieces, crafted from walrus ivory and whales’ teeth, were unearthed in 1831. Of the 93 chessmen, only 11 are in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, while 82 are in the British Museum in London. It is simply not good enough that they are occasionally lent back to the Western Isles. Ownership should pass to the people of these Isles, where they were found, and where they should be put on permanent display.

Alex Orr

Iran says that British Museum broke artefact promise

Posted at 1:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Iran is continuing in their attempts to secure a loan of the Cyrus Cylinder – something that was previously planned, but has subsequently postponed. They claim that the British Museum broke previous agreements & that as a result they will be forced to cease cooperation with the institution.


Iran says British Museum broke pledge on artifact
Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:25pm EDT

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran accused the British Museum on Monday of breaking a promise to lend it an artifact relating to Cyrus of Persia’s conquest of Babylon in the 6th century BC.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi warned of wider harm to archaeological cooperation between London and Tehran if the British Museum did not allow public display of the so-called Cyrus Cylinder in Iran.
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Arguments between China & Taiwan over disputed artefacts

Posted at 1:52 pm in Similar cases

An exhibition of Chinese artefacts in Taiwan is opening as planned, but it is overshadowed by Taiwan’s unwillingness to reciprocate the loan for fear that artefacts will be seized by China because there is no law in place to give legal protection that they will not be. This is however, unlike some similar cases, as much a reflection of the nature of the tensions between China & Taiwan as it is on the relative risk of the exhibition taking place.

Daily Telegraph

Taiwan and China at loggerheads over treasured artworks
The opening of a historic exhibition of Chinese cultural artefacts in Taiwan has been overshadowed by the refusal of Taiwanese authorities to allow its own collection to be displayed in China.
By Jonathan Liew
Published: 9:36AM BST 12 Oct 2009

The Palace Museum in Beijing has lent 37 pieces to the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, for an exhibition of artefacts belonging to the 18th-century Chinese emperor Yongzheng, which opened this week.

However, the director of the Taipei museum said that it would not reciprocate, for fear that any works that it sent to China would be seized.
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Lessons that can be learned from Egypt’s experience with the Louvre

Posted at 1:45 pm in Similar cases

Egypt’s ultimatum to the Louvre over disputed artefact claims achieved a rapid response. Can other parties making restitution claims against museums learn from this?


Datum: 10.10.09 21:32
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
France to return ancient Egyptian frescos – Lessons from Zahi Hawass


According to press reports, France has agreed to return the the five ancient Egyptian frescos that Zahi Hawass claimed had been stolen from Egypt even though the French asserted they had bought them in “good faith”.
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British Museum cancels Iranian artefact loan

Posted at 1:39 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Further coverage of the tension between Iran & the British Museum over the loan of the Cyrus Cylinder.

Press TV (Iran)

British Museum cancels artifact loan to Iran
Sat, 10 Oct 2009 16:22:59 GMT

The British Museum is refusing to loan the Achaemenid Cyrus cylinder to Iran, citing the country’s post-election political state, a report says.

A deal to loan the ancient clay cylinder in return for a number of Iranian treasures dating back to the time Safavid King Shah Abbas was reached between the Iranians and the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor.
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October 23, 2009

Egypt battles to secure more artefact returns after Louvre success

Posted at 12:49 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Following their success in persuading the Louvre to return disputed artefacts, Egypt has once again set its sights on other artefacts of questionable provenance held in museums around the world.

Agence France Presse

Egypt battling for more relics after Louvre success
By Ines Bel Aiba (AFP) – 2 days ago

CAIRO — Many relics from ancient Egypt remain in foreign museums and Cairo is struggling to persuade other countries to send them back, like France which agreed to return a set of 3,000-year-old wall painting fragments.

“It is the Egyptian people’s right to see works of art from their country’s civilisation,” said Abdel Halim Nureddin, a former head of Egypt’s antiquities authority.
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