Showing results 13 - 24 of 27 for the month of November, 2009.

November 6, 2009

Canada’s Governor General to visit the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 11:49 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Michaelle Jean, Canada’s Governor General plans to make a visit to the New Acropolis Museum during a trip to Athens.

From:
Athens News Agency

11/02/2009
Canada’s Gov. General in Olympia

The Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, on Friday evening visited the “Art Matters” forum in Athens along with her Canadian filmmaker husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, with the focus on possible film co-productions between Greece and Canada as well as international film festivals.

Jean and her husband were welcomed to the forum — which was created by Lafond — by the president of the Greek Film Centre Giorgos Papalios.
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UN Secretary General visits the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 11:46 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Whist on a visit to Athens, Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, will be shown around the New Acropolis Museum.

From:
Athens News Agency

11/02/2009
UN chief in Athens

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to arrive in Athens on Tuesday to take part in a conference focusing on Inter-faith dialogue.

On Wednesday, Ban Ki Moon will address the 3rd Forum on Immigration and Development, during which he will be welcomed by Prime Minister George Papandreou. The forum will be held under the auspices of the interior ministry.
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Metropolitan Museum to return Pharonic relief to Egypt

Posted at 11:41 pm in Similar cases

In an unusual turn of events, New York’s Metropolitan Museum purchased a four thousand year old relief from a collector with the sole intention of returning it to Egypt. It is unclear from this article whether there was any other motive present that led to this peculiar transaction.

From:
Press TV (Iran)

MET agrees to return Pharoanic relic to Egypt
Wed, 28 Oct 2009 17:16:12 GMT

Egyptian authorities say New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return an ancient Pharoanic relic to its homeland.

According to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the red granite shrine piece was purchased from a New York antiquities collector last October to be returned.
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Caught between looting & museums

Posted at 7:31 pm in Similar cases

Archaeology is a far more complex endeavour today than it ever was in the past due to the many parties trying to get hold of the artefacts before they are properly excavated & catalogued. Most countries have legal frameworks in place to prevent this, but direct action against who purchase illegally excavated pieces will also help to reduce the demand that creates these problems initially.

From:
The Examiner

Politics, nationalism or cultural guilt: What is an archeologist to do?
October 26, 12:42 AMArcheological Travel ExaminerGwynneth Anderson

It used to be so simple.

Come summer, head out into the field to dig. Perhaps even uncover a special something on the last day of excavation. Return home, write up the findings, apply for more grant awards. Next summer, repeat. No politics, cultural heritage issues or international arguments. Just simple digging, sifting and cataloguing followed by a cold beer once the day is over.

Some might say this was what started the problems in the first place.
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Why you don’t have to like the New Acropolis Museum to support the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 7:09 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Anthony Snodgrass – Chair of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles responds to Simon Jenkins’s earlier article about the New Acropolis Museum.

From:
The Guardian

Letters
New home for the Parthenon marbles
The Guardian, Tuesday 27 October 2009

I know that Simon Jenkins is fundamentally on the same side as I am, and I’m sure it wasn’t he who chose to put that offensive phrase in his headline (A banana republic police HQ maybe, but not a home for the Elgin marbles, 23 October). But his piece did contain more than its fair share of anti-Greek prejudice. The Greeks were “foolish” to turn down the offer of a loan of the Elgin marbles this summer (a heavily conditional offer, confined to a few pieces, never officially proposed and withdrawn as soon as mooted). They have consigned the excavated ancient site under the new museum to a “surreal dungeon” (unfair: it is to be open to visitors). And Jenkins cannot have it both ways: if the Greeks previously “spoiled their case” for restitution of the marbles by shortcomings in conservation, then he should not be complaining now that the restoration works on the Acropolis are so painstaking.

Anyway, the Greeks have now “gone to the other extreme” with a building that “screams the supremacy of Big Modernism” and looks like “the police headquarters of a banana republic”: Bernard Tschumi’s New Acropolis museum in Athens, which is the real target here. Comment is free, and a whole series of other expert architectural critics have commended Tschumi’s building for exactly the opposite quality – “handsome”, “unassuming”, “minimalist”, “unpretentious” – to what Jenkins detects. Simon Jenkins prefers the interior to the exterior: fair enough, so do many of us. But there was no call to package his criticism in this offensive wrapping paper.

Anthony Snodgrass
Chair, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

PASOK reiterates their intentions to reunify the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 2:27 pm in Elgin Marbles

Following the change in Greece’s government a few weeks ago, the new Culture & Tourism Minister has announced that the intentions to vigorously pursue the campaign to reunify all the surviving Parthenon sculptures in the New Acropolis Museum.

From:
Athens News Agency

10/27/2009
Culture ministry priorities

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos underlined Monday that his top priority would be to organise the newly merged ministry of culture and tourism and the solutions that need to be given to lingering problems, while clarifying that he is the only one responsible for the culture sector.

On the strategy being followed for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, Geroulanos stressed that the efforts will continue. He also noted that the British Museum appeared to be concerned, since it had taken the trouble to distribute leaflets giving its positions called “why the Marbles must stay” (at the British Museum).
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British officials visit Iran to discuss Cyrus Cylinder

Posted at 1:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A representative from the British Museum is going to discuss the Cyrus Cylinder in Iran. This seems to indicate that Iran’s threats to cease cooperation if the issue was not dealt with by the institution has at least had some success.

From:
Press TV (Iran)

UK official visits Iran over Cyrus cylinder
Sun, 25 Oct 2009 10:34:44 GMT

A British Museum representative is to head to Tehran in a bid to negotiate with Iranian officials over lending the Cyrus cylinder inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform.

“The director of the Middle East department at the British Museum, Sheila Canby, is scheduled to visit Tehran so as to address the matter. The 2,500-year-old clay cylinder was to be temporarily handed over to Iran in September. The British Museum however did not honor its pledge citing developments after Iran’s election in June,” Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Hamid Baqaei said.
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November 5, 2009

Allowing artefacts to reinvigorate local identity

Posted at 8:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Staffordshire Hoard has been on display in the West Midlands & is now going to the British Museum for valuation. Almost everyone who has been asked though sees this as something that should be kept in the area where it was discovered, to allow people to see it in the region where it was discovered – to create something which people can identify with as from their area & be proud of. This principle ought to be applied by the government & museums to many other restitution cases – unfortunately though it rarely is.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:25 UK
‘Admirable’ if gold haul remained

It would be “admirable” if the haul of Anglo-Saxon gold, recently unearthed in Staffordshire, could remain in the West Midlands, the government has said.

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw told the Houses of Parliament he was working with the regional development agency and others to make sure that happened.
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Tracing the artefacts looted from the Summer Palace

Posted at 7:31 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

China is sending teams of experts to catalogue the Chinese artefacts in museums abroad. This raises the question though of why the Museums do not already have such records of their own – or if they do have them, why they are unwilling to share them.

From:
Modern Ghana

CHINESE RESEARCH ARTEFACTS LOOTED IN ANGLO-FRENCH ATTACK ON SUMMER PALACE IN 1860: DO “GREAT MUSEUMS” NOT KEEP RECORDS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.

“Two robbers breaking into a museum, devastating, looting and burning, leaving laughing hand-in-hand with their bags full of treasures; one of the robbers is called France and the other Britain.” Victor Hugo. (1)

China has announced its intention of sending groups of researchers to various museums in the West, especially France, Britain and United States, such as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum to draw a list of the artefacts that were looted in 1860 during the Anglo-French invasion of Beijing, (then Peking).(2) Victor Hugo had expressed the wish and the hope that one day France and Britain would return the looted objects taken from an Asian country, thousands of miles away from France and Britain, that had been attacked because of its resistance to European imperialism. (3)
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Is the look of the New Acropolis Museum a problem?

Posted at 7:23 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

There have been many positive reviews of the New Acropolis Museum since its opening last June. As with any piece of art (or architecture) it is not to everyone’s taste. Simon Jenkins who has in the past spoken out in support of the return of the Parthenon Sculptures clearly falls into the latter camp. Unfortunately he is allowing his dislike of the building’s style to seemingly weaken his own case for return – something which is unfortunate, as generally people’s views on reunification are transformed in a different way when they are shown around the building.

From:
The Guardian

Simon Jenkins
A banana republic police HQ maybe, but not a home for the Elgin marbles
I am a restitutionist – but the new museum fails to clinch the case. It is not so much an argument as a punch in the face
Thursday 22 October 2009 22.00 BST

In 1812 Lord Elgin loaded the last of his Acropolis sculptures on to ships in Piraeus and set sail for England. Four years later and bankrupt, he sold them to the British Museum. This summer the Greeks, eager for their return, staged what they hoped would be a definitive retort by opening a £110m museum to house the marbles against the slopes of the same Acropolis. It is the most costly poison-pen letter in the history of cultural exchange.

Any lawyer can prove anything, and I happen to agree with those who regard the Elgin marbles as legally Britain’s. But in any meaningful sense, they “belong” in Athens. As 56 of the surviving 94 panels of the Panathenaic procession, they should rejoin the 36 in the new museum. Precedent is not an issue, being the last refuge of reactionaries and those who have lost an argument. The Elgin marbles are, to put it mildly, a special case.
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When will the British Museum enter into negotiations with Iran

Posted at 7:17 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The dispute over the Cyrus Cylinder continues, with Iran hoping that their threats of ceasing other cooperation with the British Museum will re-initiate the talks. The question has to be asked though why such actions are necessary in the first place & whether the British Museum will carry out its promise & allow the loan to take place.

From:
Press TV (Iran)

Iran’s ultimatum on Cyrus cylinder worries UK
Thu, 22 Oct 2009 14:26:46 GMT

The British Museum has informed Iran in a letter that a delegation will be sent to Tehran to discuss the loaning of the Achaemenid Cyrus cylinder to Iran.

The clay Cyrus Cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus II, king of Persia (559-530 BC) and is considered as the world’s first charter of human rights.
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Awaiting the return of the bust of Nefertiti

Posted at 7:11 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As well as reiterating his requests for the return of the Rosetta Stone following the successful retrieval of artefacts from the Louvre, Zahi Hawass is also repeating his previously unsuccessful attempts to persuade Germany to send the bust of Nefertiti back to Egypt.

From:
Modern Ghana

HAWASS REQUESTS RETURN OF NEFERTITI, EGYPTIAN QUEEN HELD IN BERLIN, GERMANY
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Tue, 20 Oct 2009

We may not all agree with Zahi Hawass in many aspects of restitution but we cannot deny that the energetic Egyptian cultural activist has a perfect sense of timing and is, in many ways, a very sophisticated strategist that many countries would be well-served to possess.

He first requested from the French Egyptian artefacts for which the French were most probably not ready to fight for. With this initial victory, he reminded the British about his well-known demand for the Rosetta Stone. Before the British could react, he demanded from the Germans the return of the bust of Nefertiti, the Egyptian Queen, who has been kept in German sojourn since 1913 when the notorious German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt surreptitiously brought the bust to Germany under dubious circumstances which have not yet been completely clarified. Borchardt’s own words indicated that he was fully aware that he was taking the sculpture away from Egypt without the consent of the Egyptians or the authorities responsible for dividing archaeological finds between Egypt and the European archaeologists involved in excavation. (1)
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