Showing results 1 - 12 of 17 for the month of February, 2012.

February 21, 2012

Egypt receives stolen artefacts returned from UK

Posted at 2:17 pm in Similar cases

Four looted Egyptian artefacts have been spotted for sale at auction in London & are now being returned to Egypt.

Egypt Independent

Egypt to receive four stolen artifacts from the UK within days
Mohamed Azouz
Sat, 06/08/2011 – 12:51

Four antiques from the time of King Amnehotep III will be returned to Egypt by the UK within days, said Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mohamed Abdel Maksoud in a statement on Saturday.

They were seized when an American amateur collector tried to sell them in London.
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The museums of Europe – fortified havens for plunder from India

Posted at 2:10 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

India (like many countries) has various artefacts in museums abroad, that it would like to be returned. The tone of the article is a little extremist – undoubtedly, there are benefits to be gained from publicising a country’s culture by having it in museums around the world – but at the same time, this should never outweigh a country’s own requirements for access to their culture.


European, American Museums: Fortified Havens For Plunder From India
By Radha Rajan

SHOULD the people of India, Greece, Egypt and Africa, and Native American peoples succeed in getting American and European museums and libraries to return all objects which constitute the tangible roots of ancient civilisations, and thousands of years of history pre-dating the cults of Jesus and Mohammed, then the Louvre, British Museum, Smithsonian, Vatican and the Kunsthistoriches Museum to mention just five, would be emptied of all their prized possessions.

European and American museums and libraries are no more than fortified thieves’ dens and state-sponsored and supported safe havens for Abrahamic plunder; they house the spoils of Christian war and genocide against African peoples, against the nations of now extinct and almost extinct Native American peoples, colonial loot from Asia, and from archaeological and anthropological pseudo-science expeditions, which European marauders undertook across continents.
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February 17, 2012

Tips for finding looted artefacts at your local museum

Posted at 2:27 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Some interesting tips from the writers of Chasing Aphrodite, for members of the public who are interested in whether or not artefacts in their local museum are likely to be looted.

Chasing Aphrodite

Five Tips for Finding Loot at Your Local Museum
Posted on June 8, 2011

Jason and Ralph will be speaking Friday, June 10 in Orlando at IRE, the annual gathering of investigative reporters. Our topic is how to find loot at your local museum.

You don’t have to be an investigative reporter to find looted antiquities. Museums around the country are home to ancient art of questionable origins. As Marion True once told her museum colleagues: “Experience has taught me that in reality, if serious efforts to establish a clear pedigree for the object’s recent past prove futile, it is most likely — if not certain — that it is the product of the illicit trade and we must accept responsibility for this fact.” (p. 190 of Chasing Aphrodite)
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The top five most disputed artefacts

Posted at 2:10 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

A (somewhat subjective, but still interesting) list in the New York Times of the most disputed antiquities, following the return of some Egyptian Artefacts from the Metropolitan Museum.


The world’s most disputed antiquities: a top 5 list
by Melanie Renzulli on Aug 3rd 2011 at 1:00PM

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Tuesday that it would return 19 Egyptian antiquities that have lived at the museum for most of the last century. These artifacts, excavated from the 14th century B.C. tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut), include a sphinx bracelet, a small bronze dog, and a broad collar with beads, among other bits and pieces. Zahi Hawass, the former Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, argued for the artifacts’ return in November 2010, claiming that the artifacts had been removed from the tomb illegally in the 1920s. But, the instability in Egypt during and following that country’s revolution this year has delayed the repatriation of King Tut’s belongings.

One of the biggest arguments in the art world is the repatriation of objects, particularly antiquities. On one side of the debate are art scholars who feel that ancient objects should remain in the care of their current (usually Western) museums or locations. The other side argues that antiquities should be returned to the countries from which they were removed because they were taken during times of war and colonization or were stolen and sold through the highly lucrative art black market.
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Met Museum to return nineteen artefacts to Egypt

Posted at 2:02 pm in Similar cases

The artefacts that the Met agreed to return in 2010 are now ready to be returned to Egypt.


New York’s Met to return 19 artifacts to Egypt: MENA
CAIRO | Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:23am EDT

(Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return to Cairo 19 artifacts dating back to the time of ancient Egypt’s teenage king Tutankhamen, the state news agency MENA said on Saturday.

Egypt has been pushing for the repatriation of major pharaonic treasures it says were plundered by foreign powers, including the Rosetta Stone now in the British Museum and Queen Nefertiti’s bust from Berlin’s Neues Museum.
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Two halves of “The Weary Herakles” to reunite

Posted at 1:42 pm in Similar cases

The two halves of “The Weary Heracles” are to be united again after thirty years. Many questions about the case still need to answered though.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Two halves of “The Weary Herakles” to reunite, but…

For those concerned about doing the right thing about cultural heritage, the case of the “Weary Herakles” has awaited resolution for the past three decades. Naturally, there is a sense of relief when Geoff Edgers reported that the statue will be “made whole” after all this time, referring to the apparent agreement to return the top part of the statue to Turkey and the rejoining of its two halves. Yet, many questions remain unanswered: When will it return to Turkey? Why now? What about other objects at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts? What about other museums?

This statue of Herakles (who leans wearily against his club after performing his Labors) is a textbook illustration of dubious provenance: ownership attributed to the dealer’s mother who got it from some other dealer before her, right from the start. But, “[t]he best evidence for pillage … is the fact that the upper half of the torso was unknown to the world before 1981,” wrote Roger Atwood in the book Stealing History.
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February 16, 2012

Provenance Research Training Program – Workshop in Germany

Posted at 6:44 pm in Events, Similar cases

The Provenance Research Training Program aims to provide training in provenance research & related issues. Their main focus is on Nazi looted artefacts, but other items are also covered. They are holding their first workshop this June in Magdeburg Germany.

See announcement on their website for full details.

Via @keridouglas on Twitter.

Provenance Research Training Program

The Provenance Research Training Program (PRTP)

The Provenance Research Training Program (PRTP) is a project of the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI) created by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs in furtherance of the Holocaust Era Assets Conference held in Prague in 2009 and the resulting Terezin Declaration endorsed by 47 countries. The program focuses on provenance research and related issues concerning Nazi-looted art, Judaica, and other cultural property. It provides advanced training to serve the international community of current and future experts engaged in dealing with issues concerning cultural plunder during the Third Reich, the Holocaust and World War II. Each year the program offers week-long workshops that provide an intensive historical overview of cultural plunder—its evolution and implementation; methodological training, including specialized research in public and private archives; a presentation and discussion of legal concepts and instrumentalities at national and international levels, including political, moral and ethical issues and restitution policies and principles. In addition to facilitating research and providing access to a vast array of information, the program will promote the establishment of international networks of provenance researchers that will bring together experts in all relevant fields and countries.

February 2, 2012

New geodatabase aims to catalogue Iraq’s artefacts & prevent looting

Posted at 2:16 pm in Similar cases

When it first occurred, the looting of Iraq was one of the most publicly visible destructions of a nature’s culture that had been seen, with much of the ransacking shown on live TV feeds, while troops on the ground struggled to assess the situation. It has to an extent though helped people to understand the kind of situations in which many other artefacts in museums, such as the Benin Bronzes were acquired – a knowledge that we aren’t always talking about smugglers taking an artefact, but in many cases about violent acts of vandalism taking place at the same time.

Since the dark days of 2003, much has been done to help retrieve some of the items lost during the looting, although few would dispute that the best course of events would have been for the looting to have been prevented in the first place.

A new database now aims to catalogue much of Iraq’s ancient sites, with the intention that this will allow better monitoring & protection of them.


Iraq harnesses technology to protect ancient treasures
By Laura Allsop for CNN
July 21, 2011 — Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)

(CNN) — Known to many as the “cradle of civilization,” Iraq is a treasure trove of important archaeological sites including Babylon, Ur and Nimrud.

Yet hostile circumstances on the ground have left the country’s antique heritage vulnerable to looting and damage.
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Controversial keeper of Egypt’s antiquities looses his job

Posted at 2:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Zahi Hawass is a man who stirs up controversy wherever he goes, whether with his own goading of foreign governments to return disputed artefacts, or through the way that his blatant self publicising approach irritates others. He has done a lot to help Egypt’s archaeology in his time in the job, but at the same time has managed to annoy many people. It appears that this will no longer be the case however, as he has lost his job as the head of Egypt’s Supreme Archaeological Council.

(Yes – I know that this post is out of date – as are most others on the blog at the moment), but I wanted to keep it here so that the blog represents a relatively complete archive of events).

Daily Telegraph

‘Real Indiana Jones’ sacked as keeper of Egypt’s heritage
He called himself the real Indiana Jones and keeper of Egypt’s heritage, and was an almost permanent presence on any television programme about the country’s colourful past.

But Zahi Hawass, the public face of the pyramids, has become the latest casualty of the revolution sweeping the Egyptian government after being sacked as minister of antiquities.

Dr Hawass was head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities for 10 years, and before that in charge of the Pyramids and Sphinx on the Giza plateau outside Cairo. He staged regular press conferences unveiling new discoveries from the time of the pharaohs.
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Agreement between Greece & US to limit importing of antiquities

Posted at 1:54 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage on the deal signed between Greece & the USA to restrict the importation of historic artefacts.

Art Info

The U.S. and Greece Agree to Ban Imports of Most Antiquities, Despite Concerns Raised by Debt Crisis

Collectors in the market for Greek antiquities may soon find them harder to come by on this side of the Atlantic.

Standing at the Parthenon Museum in Athens, Greece last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Stavros Lambrinidis to restrict imports of ancient Greek artifacts to the United States.
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Hillary Clinton travels to Athens to sign cultural heritage protection memorandum

Posted at 1:48 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has signed an agreement with Greece, to restrict importation of antiquities, in an aim to help prevent looting of archaeological sites.

The Art Newspaper

Clinton signs memorandum with Greece restricting import of antiquities
New agreement looks to end looting and black market sales by reducing the incentive to illegally remove such objects in the first place
By Helen Stoilas | Web only
Published online 21 Jul 11

ATHENS. While in the Greece on a diplomatic visit this weekend, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stavros Lambrinidis, concerning the imposition of import restrictions on archaeological and Byzantine objects. The new memorandum, which still has to be ratified by the Greek Parliament, would make it illegal for protected works of art to enter the US without the approval of Greek authorities.

The signing of the memorandum was yet another demonstration of the US government’s vocal support of Greece’s austerity measures to help the debt-ridden country get back on its feet. “America is just as committed to Greece’s future as we are to preserving your past,” Clinton said at the signing. “During these difficult economic times, we will stand with you. We are confident that the nation that built the Parthenon, invented democracy, and inspired the world can rise to the current challenge.”
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Upgrading of Greek museums & archaeological sites

Posted at 8:52 am in Greece Archaeology

169 Greek archaeological sites & museums have now been upgraded to have better signage & visitor facilities.

Greek Reporter

Services Upgraded in 169 Museums and Archaelogical Sites
Posted on 13 July 2011 by Anastasia Chaini

The upgrading of 20 museums and archaeological sites services, for a total of 169, will be completed by the end of the summer. The remaining 149 will go up to the A1 category in the next three years, based on the time schedule of the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Paul Geroulanos. Up until now, no Greek museum or archaeological site, not even the Acropolis, has gone up so high in the rankings.

The upgrading of the services mainly concerns the issue of leaflets in two languages​​, the placement of large informational signs, and the installation of outposts and toilets for the disabled and automatic water / soft drink machines, where necessary.
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