Showing results 25 - 36 of 42 for the month of November, 2011.

November 15, 2011

Looted Afghan treasures reunited at the British Museum

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

More coverage of the exhibition of recovered Afghan Artefacts at the British Museum. Neil MacGregor talks about reunifying these pieces & the story that they tell – but seems far less concerned about the welfare of many other artefacts already in his collection.


Lost and Found: Afghan Treasures Reunite at the British Museum
By William Lee Adams / London Sunday, Mar. 27, 2011

In the minds of many outside the country, Afghanistan occupies a space somewhere between war and chaos. But millennia before the Soviet invasion kicked off 30 years of conflict and upheaval, and well before the Taliban began to brutalize its own people, Afghanistan flourished as a hub along the Silk Road. From as early as the first century B.C., the region was known as a meeting place for artisans and traders, not warlords and insurgents.

That’s the implicit message of the British Museum’s latest blockbuster exhibition, Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World. Running until July 3, it brings together 230 objects that have survived bombings and lootings and deliberate destruction by the Taliban. “I hope this exhibition will introduce our ancient civilization to the British people, who usually hear stories of killing in Afghanistan,” says Omara Khan Masoodi, the director of Kabul’s National Museum, which has loaned all of the artifacts on display while it is being rebuilt following years of war. “Afghani people aren’t just fighting with each other. They love their culture, their art, and know the value of these things.” (See pictures of Afghan art.)
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Is the British Museum really willing to rent the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece?

Posted at 1:39 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

According to this article (I haven’t read the longer article that it refers to), the British Museum would be willing to “rent” the Elgin Marbles back to Greece. Whether or not they would in practise though is unlikely to be put to the test, as engaging in such an agreement would be unacceptable to the Greeks, as in many ways, it endorses the UK’s claims of ownership over the sculptures.

I have a feeling that any rental agreement would be full of so many pre-conditions that it would never be acceptable & would never go ahead – it seems that until such offers take a more palatable form, they are nothing but talk – the Museum knows that they will not be taken up on what they are saying.

Greek Reporter

British Museum Offer to “Rent” Parthenon Sculptures to Greece
Posted on 24 March 2011 by Anastasia Miskedaki

The British Museum is not willing to give back the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, stated Neil Macgregor, the Museum’s director. But, Greece can rent them if it wants.

A two page tribute and an interview with Neil Macgregor is included in the Spectrum insert of The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. The museum’s director will offer the speech that he is going to give at the Art Gallery in Sydney, for the presentation of his new book.
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November 14, 2011

New Acropolis Museum shortlisted for architecture award

Posted at 2:04 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum has been shortlisted for the European Union’s prize for architecture.

Greek Reporter

Acropolis Museum on Short List for European Award
Posted on 23 March 2011 by Marianna Kourti

The finalists have been shortlisted from 343 works in thirty-three European countries. The award ceremony will take place on June 20th at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain.
The six finalists are Neues Museum (Berlin, Germany) – David Chipperfield Architects / David Chipperfield; Bronks Youth Theatre (Brussels, Belgium) – MDMA – Martine De Maeseneer Architecten / Martine De Maeseneer, Dirk Van den Brande; MAXXI: Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome, Italy) – Zaha Hadid Architects / Zaha Hadid, Patrick Schumacher, Gianluca Racana; Concert House Danish Radio (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Ateliers Jean Nouvel / Jean Nouvel; Acropolis Museum (Athens, Greece) – Bernard Tschumi Architects / Bernard Tschumi; Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal (Arnhem, The Netherlands) -Architectenbureau Koen van Velsen / Koen van Velsen.

The prize highlights excellence in contemporary buildings and contribution to the development of new ideas and technologies in urban evolution .
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Aphrodite statue returns to Sicily from Getty Museum

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the return of a disputed statue from the Getty’s collection to Sicily.

Los Angeles Times

Getty ships Aphrodite statue to Sicily
The iconic statue, bought in 1988, is among 40 objects of disputed origin repatriated.
March 23, 2011|By Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The J. Paul Getty Museum’s iconic statue of Aphrodite was quietly escorted back to Sicily by Italian police last week, ending a decades-long dispute over an object whose craftsmanship, importance and controversial origins have been likened to the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum.

The 7-foot tall, 1,300-pound statue of limestone and marble was painstakingly taken off display at the Getty Villa and disassembled in December. Last week, it was locked in shipping crates with an Italian diplomatic seal and loaded aboard an Alitalia flight to Rome, where it arrived on Thursday. From there it traveled with an armed police escort by ship and truck to the small hilltop town of Aidone, Sicily, where it arrived Saturday to waiting crowds.
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Local artefacts should stay in Bendigo

Posted at 1:45 pm in Similar cases

Whilst this is an interesting story, the comparison to the Parthenon Marbles seems completely spurious. As far as I can understand, Melbourne is making no claim on them – if Bendigo could build a facility to house them, the artefacts would be returned. This is entirely different to the case, where Greece has a building to house the Parthenon Marbles, but the British Museum refuses to return them.

Bendigo Advertiser

Artefacts should stay here says historian
23 Mar, 2011 03:00 AM

PRICELESS artefacts dug from a central Bendigo building site must come home to Bendigo to teach us about our city’s past, a local historian says.

Bendigo Historical Society secretary Trevor Parsons said the artefacts, including priceless glassware, crockery and building remnants unearthed at the site now occupied by RSD House in Forest Street, deserve a home in Bendigo.
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November 10, 2011

Frome Hoard to remain in Somerset

Posted at 2:11 pm in Similar cases

In much the same way as with the Staffordshire Hoard, everyone thinks it is a great idea that the Frome Hoard should be displayed close to where it was found. The same principle however is deemed as less relevant with items such as the Parthenon Marbles.

BBC News

21 March 2011 Last updated at 03:24
Frome Hoard of Roman coins to stay in Somerset

The largest ever collection of Roman coins found in Britain in one pot will stay in the county where it was unearthed.

The Museum of Somerset has raised £320,250 to keep the Frome Hoard. There had been fears it would go to London.
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Stolen Greek artefacts in London gallery

Posted at 2:04 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage of the looted Greek artefacts spotted recently in a London gallery.


Stolen Greek relics found in London

• Six items on sale had been removed in last 10 years
• Find hints at international network of smugglers
Helena Smith in Athens, Sunday 20 March 2011 19.20 GMT

Six stolen icons discovered in an art gallery near the Greek embassy in London have become the focus of a police inquiry as Athens tries to unravel how the religious works ended up on the international art market.

The magnificent pieces, painted over 200 years ago in typical Byzantine fashion, adorned Orthodox monasteries and churches in remote northern Greece until they were snatched by thieves.
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India’s cultural artefacts scattered around the world

Posted at 1:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Koh-i-Noor diamond might be the artefacts from India that grabs the most headlines, but there are many other artefacts from the country also located in museums & private collections abroad.

Times of India

National treasures scattered across the world
Reema Gehi, Mumbai Mirror Mar 19, 2011, 12.48pm IST

As the Pearl Canopy of Baroda goes up for auction soon, we take a look at other such national treasures scattered across the world

The remarkable objet d’art — Pearl Canopy of Baroda — will soon be auctioned at Sotheby’s, New York. It is estimated to fetch $5 million (about Rs 22.51 crore).
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The New Acropolis Museum as a “shining example of history and modernity in balance”

Posted at 1:51 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum represents a new generation of museums – it would be radical anywhere, but especially in Greece, against the context of many relatively old fashioned state owned museums (although the privately owned institutions in Athens also represent a much more modern approach).


Insights into Tourism Branding
Museums: Must-see centers of meaning in a destination
By Anita Mendiratta, CNN Task Group/eTN | Mar 16, 2011

They are places that make places make sense. Within their secure walls stand items that act as records of the past. History and culture are held tightly together in cases of glass, collections of frames, and viewing areas sectioned off with velvet ropes. Visitors are invited in and then carefully kept at arms length so as to protect all things precious. Voices are turned down in volume, whispers of conversation filling the air. They are places built for seeing, exploring, learning, and musing. They are museums.

In positions of pride in destinations around the globe are museums. Standing tall in city centers, tucked away in tiny towns, and even carefully moved from location to location through new mobile methods, museums represent homes of history of people, places, and periods of time. Historical jewel boxes of all that a destination holds dear, museums contain pieces of the past that can often not be explained in words – they must be seen and felt to be understood. Whether ancient artifacts or modern pieces of medical marvel, museums are centers of living history.
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Followup to the Benin Idia mask auction

Posted at 1:43 pm in Similar cases

An interesting follow-up to the abandoned auction of a mask from Benin, whose ownership was disputed.

Modern Ghana

Queen-Mother Idia and Others Must Return Home: Training Courses are no Substitutes for Looted Treasures
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Wed, 16 Mar 2011

At the height of the protest organized by the Nigeria Liberty Forum against a proposed auction of a Queen-Mother Idia hip-mask by the Galway family at Sotheby’s in December 2010, it was reported that the Nigerian government was in discussions with British authorities about restitution of the Benin bronzes and that a body was to be set up in Nigeria which would be charged with the responsibility of securing the return of looted artworks that are in foreign hands. Tribune reported (1) that, “the Federal Government is seeking diplomatic option to end the controversy surrounding the reported planned sale of the prized art objects.” The Tribune stated further that “The source disclosed that President Jonathan had given instructions to the effect that no effort should be spared to get the Benin arts, as well as other such artefacts that symbolised the pride of Nigerians and their rich cultural heritage. The president also ordered that machinery should be set in motion to get the artefacts repatriated into the country.

On the nature of the president’s intervention, the source said appropriate officials that would handle the matter had been contacted and were expected to take the matter to the highest level of authority in Britain, adding that “we are ready to pursue the matter to the highest level.”
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November 7, 2011

Sale of looted Greek icons blocked

Posted at 2:32 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage of the blocked sales of various icons looted from monasteries & churches in Northern Greece.

Daily Telegraph

Greece want British gallery to return ‘stolen icons’
Greek officials want to block the sale of six religious icons by a London-based dealer claiming they were stolen from orthodox monasteries.
By Nick Squires, Rome
5:59PM GMT 16 Mar 2011

The icons, which are at least 300 years old and worth between 5,000 (£4,340) and 15,000 euros (£13,000) each were found being offered for sale in London, according to Kathimerini, a Greek newspaper.

Greece’s antiquities theft department were alerted after they received a telephone call from a woman who said she had spotted a famous icon of the Virgin Mary on the gallery’s website. The icons were subsequently moved from the website of the dealer.
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Greece blocks sale of disputed artefacts

Posted at 2:07 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Greek police have blocked the sale by galleries in the UK & the Netherlands of religious icons looted from remote areas of northern Greece.


Greece blocks sale of disputed icons in Britain, Netherlands

Greek officials have blocked the sale of a dozen religious icons by two art galleries in Britain and the Netherlands after finding the items had been stolen years ago, a police source said on Wednesday.

The icons that date from before the 18th century and could each fetch from 5,000 to 15,000 euros ($7,000-21,000) had been pilfered from unguarded monasteries and churches in the sparsely-populated region of Epirus in northwestern Greece.
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