Showing results 1 - 12 of 79 for the month of March, 2012.

March 30, 2012

Why Britain should back the world ban on artefact looting

Posted at 1:47 pm in Similar cases

For reasons that are unclear to me, Britain has never ratified the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This is despite declaring in 2004 that they would ratify the convention. The only reason I have ever been given was that it conflicted in some places with existing laws in Britain, that would need to be amended first.


Letters: Back the world ban on looting
Friday 30 March 2012

The March 2003 invasion of Iraq by a coalition led by the US and the UK failed to prevent the immediate and appalling looting of museums, libraries, archives and art galleries, followed by years of looting of archaeological sites across the country.

On 14 May 2004, the UK Government announced its intention to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and its protocols of 1954 and 1999. Today, on the ninth anniversary of the invasion, it has still to honour this commitment. This is despite all-party support for ratification and recently reiterated support for ratification from the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The USA ratified the Convention in 2009. This leaves the UK as arguably the most significant military power, and certainly the only power with extensive military involvements abroad, not to have ratified it.
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Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum hosting exhibition about antiquities trafficking

Posted at 1:28 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

“End to Antiquities Trafficking”, a new temporary exhibition about looting of antiquities in Greece, at Thessaloniki’s Archaeological Museum, runs until September.

Greek Reporter

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki to Host “End to Antiquities Trafficking” Exhibition
By Stella Tsolakidou on March 29, 2012

A temporary exhibition entitled “End to Antiquities Trafficking” will open in April at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. The exhibition will run until September and aims at highlighting the sensitive issue of antiquities smuggling by showcasing stolen artifacts that have been confiscated.

The exhibition will feature six sections with a total of 170 artifacts from the Museum’s collections, the 6th and 7th Ephorates of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities. Moreover, archive material from the Directorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Tourism Ministry will also be on display.
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New law could remove legal requirements for underwater excavations in Alabama

Posted at 1:11 pm in Similar cases

In what can only be a backwards step aimed at benefiting grab & sell type excavations, a new law proposed in Alabama would remove the need for treasure hunters to require permits for underwater excavations, as long as they keep away from Native American burial sites & shipwrecks.


New Alabama law could mean finders-keepers for historic artifacts found underwater
Published: Monday, January 16, 2012, 7:45 AM

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A battle over historic artifacts hidden below the surface of Alabama’s rivers, lakes and bays is surfacing in advance of the opening of Legislature’s 2012 regular session on Feb. 7.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has introduced a bill to amend the Alabama Cultural Resources Act, a law that requires underwater explorers to get a permit from the Alabama Historical Commission before going after submerged wrecks and relics.
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Professional photography charges at Greek archaeological sites cut

Posted at 1:01 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology

More coverage of the decision by Greece to reduce the costs for filming permits at the country’s ancient sites.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Greece cuts filming costs at Acropolis
Thursday, January 19, 2012
By Natalie Weeks

The Acropolis, Greece’s star attraction for 2,500 years, may be preparing for a bigger role.

The Greek government lowered the permit costs this month for using archaeological sites and museums for film crews to 1,600 euros ($2,039) a day from as much as 4,000 euros in a 2005 pricelist, and for professional photographers to 200 euros from 300 euros, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Historical spots include the Acropolis, which houses the Parthenon, and Delphi, home of the ancient oracle.
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Looted Roman statues returned to Italy

Posted at 12:56 pm in Similar cases

Two looted statues have been returned to Italy, after the police were informed by the company that purchased them.


15:04 20 GEN 2012

(AGI) Rome – Two Roman statues dating 1st and 2nd century AD have been returned to Italy by the US. Worth an estimated 2m euro, the white marble statues were returned along with several other listed Italian heritage items. The statues had been bought by American company Humana Inc., who had contacted Italian police heritage experts after having purchased them at a New York gallery. The statues were immediately identified as part of stolen and undeclared heritage. One headless statue, dating 2nd century AD, is that of Roman goddess Fortuna and is 163cm tall; it had been stolen from its premises at a veterans association in Fiumicino in 1986. The other statue, dating 1st century AD, also depicts a female goddess and is 175cm tall; it is deemed to have been removed from unspecified illegal dig in central Italy.

Filming costs at the Acropolis will be reduced

Posted at 12:53 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology

Despite the way that this was reported as hiring out ancient artefacts in many new sources, the actual story is that the cost of permits for professional filming on the Acropolis are to be reduced. The permits already exist, it is just that the cost will be less than previously.

Greek Reporter

Debt-Riddled Greece Will Lease Acropolis For Commercial Exploitation
By Stella Tsolakidou on January 17, 2012

In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece’s Ministry of Culture said on Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country’s most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures.

Leasing the Parthenon through the taxation of photo and cinema shoots seems to be one of the top priorities for the Greek government, in order to raise money and tackle the debt crisis threatening the country with default.
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Trial of Robert Hecht ends with no verdict

Posted at 12:48 pm in Similar cases

The trial in Italy of Robert Hecht, the art dealer suspected of selling many looted artefacts, has ended without verdict. The reasons for this result were similar to those that ended the trial of former Getty curator Marion True in 2010.

Los Angeles Times

Italian case against antiquities dealer ends
January 19, 2012

The trial of Robert E. Hecht Jr., the alleged mastermind of an international black market in ancient art, ended with no verdict this week when a three-judge panel in Rome found the time allotted for the trial had expired.

Hecht, a 92-year-old Baltimore native now confined to bed at his home in Paris, has cut a wide swath through the art world since the 1950s, supplying museums and collectors around the world with some of the finest examples of ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan art.
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British Museum director speaks about Elgin Marbles & Indian artefacts

Posted at 8:01 am in Similar cases

The British Museum is working with the Indian Ministry of Culture, to help to improve their country’s museums. This is a great idea, & shows a useful way that museums can collaborate with one another abroad. During an interview about this, MacGregor was also asked about the Parthenon Marbles & stated that they had been offered to Greece as a loan. In much the same way though, as the British Museum claims that Greece has never in recent years made an official restitution request, it could be argued that the British Museum has never really made any sort of official offer to Greece. There have been statements in the press, but as far as I’m aware, no sort of proper discussions with high level Greek officials. The British Museum seems instead to rely on previous assertions of ownership by Greece as rejections of such as loan offer, allowing them to assume that the loan would be unacceptable on this basis & therefore never even make a proper offer…

Times of India

‘Get people into your museums’
TNN Jan 15, 2012, 06.20AM IST

Indian museums badly need overhauling and who better than the director of British Museum, Neil MacGregor, to help do it. In Delhi recently on an ambitious project in collaboration with the ministry of culture to train Indian professionals, he tells Archana Khare Ghose that exchange between all parts of the world has to go up.

Your team will be training Indian museum professionals. What do you think are the disadvantages that Indian museums suffer from but could improve upon? Fortunately for India, it has two of the hardest things to acquire in a museum – scholarship and great collections. All you need now is to get people into the museums. I think Indian museums are right now focused on their collections but it would be of immense interest for the public if they were to get opportunities to see collections from say, Mexico, China, Iran, etc., in their own museums through loaned exhibitions. The collection of the British Museum is available to see for free to all those who are “curious or studious, native or foreign” and we could loan them for exhibitions.
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The Parthenon Marbles as works of sculpture

Posted at 7:45 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

The Elgin Marbles have become famous for being famous – often, this means that people forget their significance as works of sculpture in their own right.

The Epoch Times

The Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum
By Michael Paraskos Created: January 17, 2012 Last Updated: January 18, 2012

The Parthenon Marbles are one of the great treasures of the British Museum. Taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Thomas Bruce in the first decade of the 19th century, these wonderful sculptures have been a bone of contention between Britain and Greece ever since.

For my part I am not worked up about the Marbles being sent home. But I am also not indifferent to them, and go to see them a couple of times each year. That probably makes me a more frequent visitor to the Marbles than almost all the Britons who insist they stay in London, or Greeks who demand they go home. In fact my stock reply to people who ask what I think should happen to the Marbles is they should be sent to Shanghai or Tokyo as almost all the visitors I encounter in the gallery are not British or Greek, but East Asian.
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March 29, 2012

Lecture in Melbourne on the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 4:51 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

As part of the Antipodes Festival, the Greek Community in Melbourne is organising a lecture on the Parthenon Marbles, which will take place on 1st April.


Lecture on the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles
28 Mar 2012

The Greek Community of Melbourne together with the Antipodes Festival invites you to attend A Lecture on the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.

The issue of the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles continues to be the world’s most celebrated cultural property dispute. Since Lord Elgin took them, their history has been the subject of both neglect and controversy.
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Greece wins court ruling in Switzerland over looted coin

Posted at 1:02 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

As a country rich with archaeological heritage, Greece has always faced problems stopping illegal looting of its ancient sites. The more cases that get stopped before the artefacts can be sold on though, the less incentive there is for people who think that they can excavate illegally without facing any penalties.

Washington Times

Greece wins Swiss court ruling over ancient coin
By Costas Kantouris
Associated Press
Thursday, January 12, 2012

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — A Swiss court has ordered the confiscation of a very rare ancient silver coin that was allegedly illegally excavated in northern Greece and sold at auction in Switzerland, Greek and Swiss officials say.

The lawyer representing Greece in the case said Thursday that the ruling in October opens the way for the early 5th century B.C. coin’s return to Greece. The debt-crippled country’s rich cultural heritage has long suffered depredations from antiquities smugglers supplying a lucrative international market.
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Christopher Hitchens and the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 12:56 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Following the death of Christopher Hitchens, an article on the Malathronas blog looks particularly at how strongly he put forward the arguments for the reunification of all the surviving Parthenon Sculptures in Athens.

You can view this article here.