Showing results 25 - 36 of 79 for the month of March, 2012.

March 27, 2012

Asia Society discusses benefits of a “Wikiloot” database

Posted at 1:17 pm in Similar cases

The Asia Society in New York has discussed the benefits of a Wikiloot type database at their most recent meeting.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Asia Society debate: the dos and don’ts of collecting antiquities
Establishing a “Wikiloot” website to track illicitly traded antiquities is among the issues discussed
By Eric Magnuson. Web only
Published online: 22 March 2012

The Asia Society in New York held a panel on collecting ancient art in the 21st century on 18 March along with the American Committee for Cultural Policy.

The first half of the panel primarily covered legal aspects concerning collecting art from China and India. The international art dealer James Lally went into depth about some of the misconceptions that the collecting community has about the memorandum of understanding between China and the US, and Naman Ahuja, a professor of Indian art and architecture from Delhi, spoke adamantly about how he believed that western collectors should help museums from source countries by lending their expertise.
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New Acropolis Museum photography exhibition

Posted at 1:10 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

More coverage of the photographic exhibition about the New Acropolis Museum that is currently on display in Odessa.

From:
Greek Reporter

Photo Exhibition on New Acropolis Museum Inaugurated in Odessa
By Stella Tsolakidou on March 26, 2012

A photographic exhibition on the New Acropolis Museum opened on Saturday at the Hellenic Foundation for Culture branch in Odessa, in the context of celebrations marking the anniversary of the March 25, 1821 Greek revolution against Ottoman rule.

The exhibition will include architects Bernard Tschumi’s and Michalis Fotiadis’ drafts, external views of the building and surrounding area, including the finds uncovered during construction of the new museum, as well as the interior of the museum and its displays.

The exhibition, organised in cooperation with the New Acropolis Museum, will run through April 28.

(Source: AMNA)

The mystery of the missing Stonehenge megaliths

Posted at 8:14 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The new manga book set in the British Museum has an uncanny plot resemblance (entirely coincidentally), to MP Andrew George’s failed April 1st EDM from 2009.

From:
Londonist

Manga Preview: Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure
By M@ · November 21, 2011 at 15:30 pm

We’re not going to pretend some deep-seated knowledge of manga that we don’t possess, but this new release looks intriguing whether you’re a fan of the artform or not. Hoshino Yukinobu’s latest Professor Munakata adventure has the eponymous ethnologist unravelling the ‘mystery of the missing Stonehenge megaliths and the threats to the British Museum’s treasured holdings’.

This Friday (25 November) the Museum holds a special event to mark the novel’s release in English. Nicole Rousmaniere will describe the Museum’s role in the creation of the story (excerpts were displayed there two years ago), while Paul Gravett, Director of Comica Festival, places the book into a wider context.

The discussion about Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure takes place at 6.30pm on 25 November at the British Museum. Tickets are £5/£3. The story can be purchased here.

March 26, 2012

US bill aims to protect looted art while on loan to US museums

Posted at 4:56 pm in Similar cases

In what can only be a backwards step, the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act, H.R. 4086 aims to protect looted artefacts from seizure whilst on loan to museums in the US. There is an exclusion for items looted by the Nazis, but (notwithstanding my reservations with a single special case that ignores others of equal merit), it excludes items that were lost through forced sales or other forms of misappropriation.

It is hard to see who will benefit from such a law other than big museums, who will find it easier to secure temporary loans for exhibitions. Surely creating exemptions in the law & allowing a free flow of looted artefacts into & out of the country is not the correct way to solve the issue though?

From:
The Hill

House to protect foreign artwork, except artwork stolen by Nazis
By Pete Kasperowicz – 03/19/12 10:02 AM ET

The House on Monday afternoon will vote on legislation aimed at making it easier for foreign governments to lend works of art to be displayed in U.S. museums, without fear of having the artwork subjected to litigation once it enters the United States. But the bill to be voted on would exempt artwork stolen by Nazi Germany from these assurances.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act, H.R. 4086, in February. Chabot says his bill is meant to clarify the relationship between two existing laws that has made some foreign governments wary of temporarily exporting artwork to the United States.
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The effect of the Greek debt crisis on the country’s historic monuments

Posted at 1:02 pm in Greece Archaeology

More coverage of the effects that the Greek debt crisis is having on the country’s museums & historic sites. This is a problem, not just for the tourists who are unable to get access, but also for the monuments themselves, which may now have lower levels of security & smaller maintenance budgets than was previously the case.

From:
Reuters

Debt crisis strikes Greek monuments, irks tourists
By Gareth Jones
ATHENS | Tue Dec 6, 2011 8:51am EST

(Reuters) – At the end of a sunny day on the Acropolis last month, Svein Davoy gazed awe-struck at the columns of the Parthenon gleaming in the twilight.

“It’s marvellous. This is where Western civilisation began. I will certainly tell my friends to come to Greece and see all this,” enthused Davoy, 63, an economist from Norway.
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Support the Wikiloot crowdsourced illicit antiquities database proposals

Posted at 12:52 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The author of the Wikiloot proposal, has pointed out that the proposal will in part be assessed based on the amount of support people show for it on the submission page for the Knight News Challenge. There are 1000 other entries, so make sure you like or comment on the proposal at the Knight News Challenge page, to increase its chance of being given serious consideration.

You can read my original post about Wikiloot here.

The page from Knight News Challenge, to comment on the plan is here.

Photo exhibition about New Acropolis Museum in Odessa, Ukraine

Posted at 12:44 pm in New Acropolis Museum

A photo exhibition on display at the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in the Ukraine’s third largest city, Odessa, is running until 28th April.

From:
Greek Reporter

Ukraine: Photo Exhibition Shows the New Acropolis Museum of Athens
By Areti Kotseli on March 23, 2012

The public of Odessa will have the unique opportunity – starting tomorrow – to admire the New Acropolis Museum through a photo exhibition.

The exhibition will be held on the occasion of the March 25th National Anniversary in the exhibition rooms of the annex of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (HFC) in Odessa.
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The evolving moral and political climate for art museums

Posted at 8:27 am in Similar cases

Cleveland museum’s recent purchase of the Apollo Sauroktonos has been criticised by many archaeologists, because of the uncertain provenance of the work. The Museum has however, agreed to work with Italy to further research the sculpture.

From:
Cleveland.com

Conference at the American Academy in Rome illuminated the changing climate for Cleveland Museum of Art and other institutions that collect antiquities
Published: Saturday, December 03, 2011, 12:30 PM

Rome — The images of ancient Roman mosaics found and preserved recently in south-central Turkey were stunning.

Unfortunately, they flashed across the screen in a darkened auditorium at the American Academy in Rome too quickly. One had the impulse to shout at the lecturer, “Slow down!”

But the two-day symposium last month on “Saving Cultural Heritage in Crisis Areas” was running late, and Italian archaeologist Roberto Nardi had a lot of ground to cover in his dramatic tale of rescuing the mosaics from the rising waters of a lake created by the Birecik hydroelectric dam along the Euphrates River.
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March 24, 2012

Why do so many looted artefacts end up in museums

Posted at 11:46 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

For some artefacts, museums hold onto the excuse that at the time, it was accepted practice. But for many more recent artefacts that are looted, that excuse holds no water. Who should be blamed for this though – the dealers or the collectors? Are too many people / institutions willing to accept items with fairly questionable provenances that if investigated properly would clearly not be valid?

From:
Financial Times

December 2, 2011 12:02 am
Lost treasures
By Feargus O’Sullivan

In March this year, a statue of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, left the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, its home since 1988, to return to the Sicilian town of Aidone, where it was discovered.

Six months later, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts returned the Weary Herakles to Turkey, so the torso of the mythological Greek hero could be reunited with the legs and pelvis of a statue discovered near Antalya in the early 1980s.
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March 23, 2012

Giovanni Battista Belzoni, archaeologist of his time, or smash and grab looter?

Posted at 7:31 pm in Similar cases

Belzoni, along with Bernardino Drovetti were perhaps the two people, who more than any others started the raiding of Egypt’s antiquities, to fill the museums & palaces of the west. Were they just doing, what was accepted at the time, or was a lot of history plundered to their reckless methods?

From:
Wall Street Journal

A Pre-Digital Tomb Raider
Sifting sand, opening crypts, raising fallen statues and scooping up anything marketable—and transportable—to Britain.
By GERARD HELFERICH

In the Egyptian gallery of London’s British Museum stands a 3,400-year-old statue carved from polished black stone. Lifted from the city of Thebes, the figure depicts Amenhotep III, who ruled Egypt from about 1386 B.C. to 1350 B.C., when the kingdom was at the peak of its power and prosperity. Sitting erect but serene, his hands resting on his thighs, Amenhotep seems every inch the pharaoh. But one detail disturbs the regal impression: Beside the king’s left foot, with all the subtlety of a Times Square billboard, appears the crudely carved name “Belzoni.” How this Italian commoner came to be forever linked with an Egyptian pharaoh is now the subject of a lively, witty biography by Ivor Noël Hume.

Though Giovanni Battista Belzoni is not generally recalled today, he is still infamous among archaeologists. Born in 1778 in Padua, Italy, Giovanni worked in his father’s barbershop until age 16, then left to study in Rome. After Napoleon Bonaparte captured the Eternal City in 1797, Belzoni wandered Europe for a time, ending up in London, where he hoped to secure work as a hydraulic engineer. But the only job the 6-foot-6 Italian could find was as a circus performer, billed as “the Patagonian Sampson” and toting a dozen lesser men about the stage.
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Bronze age treasures returned to Lake District town

Posted at 9:06 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Yet again, the focus on ancient artefacts found in the UK relates (quite rightly in most cases) to re-locating them back to their place of discovery, and highlighting the work that needs to be done locally to discover more about their origins – yet when we look at foreign artefacts here only as the result of looting, the contextual arguments are regularly ignored.

From:
Guardian

Bronze Age treasure returns to Ambleside
Swords, dagger and spear are re-identified after years on private display in Royal properties. Guest blogger Eileen Jones reports from the shores of Windermere
Posted by Eileen Jones
Monday 28 November 2011 11.00 GMT

Yet another Northern hoard is making news, following recent discoveries in Yorkshire and Furness, the historic slice of Lancashire gobbled up by Cumbria in 1973/4.

This time it is Ambleside in the Lake District which is making news – and with a curious twist. Its collection of Bronze Age weaponry was discovered 270 year ago. Archaeologists are now trying to find out exactly where.
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Are artefacts really better protected by the museums in developed countries?

Posted at 8:57 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Large museums in western countries, would like people to believe that they are better custodians of artefacts than the original owners of them – protecting them for future generations to see.

The reality though, is that this perceived status quo is not necessarily the case.

If you follow the link to the original article, there is an interesting info-graphic at the start of it, which helps to summaries the issues in the article.

From:
SAFE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Museum collections no better off in developed countries, international survey says

According to 1490 respondents from 136 countries, a survey conducted between June and September by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reveals that museum collections the world over suffer from “major” or “drastic” lack of space, bad management, theft, pest infestation, etc. A note at the bottom of the report says: “As a little over 25% of the replies came from North America, these results were analyzed individually and compared to the rest of the world. There was found to be no significant difference in the numbers. This confirms that the results shown here represent the situation of the museums surveyed in all countries.” “Most importantly, we have confirmation that this is not a developed vs. developing country issue: all countries find themselves in the same situation.” Mr. Gaël de Guichen, Special Advisor to the Director General of ICCROM, concludes.
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