Showing results 49 - 60 of 79 for the month of March, 2012.

March 20, 2012

Whose Past? Debate on repatriation of artefacts and reburial of human remains

Posted at 1:47 pm in Events, Similar cases

Durham University is organising a debate on the ethics of repatriation of human remains from museums.

From:
Durham university

Durham University Archaeology Society Conference 2012
Whose Past? An Interdisciplinary debate on the repatriation of artefacts and reburial of human remains
Saturday April 28th 2012 10am-5pm

Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Dawson Building, Durham University Science Site

Durham University Archaeology Society presents a one day interdisciplinary conference to be held at Durham University involving the Archaeology, Anthropology, Philosophy and Law departments from Durham and Newcastle University and selected guest speakers. This year’s theme ‘Whose Past? An Interdisciplinary debate on the repatriation of artefacts and reburial of human remains’ aims to generate a stimulating debate about the ownership and ethical principles associated with two types of archaeological material; artefacts and human remains, with the focus on the repatriation of artefacts and reburial of human remains.
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Three new books on art thefts

Posted at 9:08 am in Similar cases

Theft and looting, as covered by this website, tends to focus on illegal excavations & looting of archaeological sites, some of which isn’t discovered until well after the event. One must remember though, that huge amounts of art theft also take place directly from museums and private collections – and that many of these cases remain unsolved.

From:
Washington Post

Three books on art theft
By Christopher Schoppa, Published: October 7

The craft of looting precious artworks is almost as old as the medium itself, with countless cases littering the pages of history, from casualties of war (most recently, the Baghdad Museum) to brazen museum heists (Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990). There are also the thorny issues of national patrimony, art that by chance or pillage wound up as the backbone of some other country’s elite museum: The famed Elgin Marbles now housed in the British Museum are a prime example. Greece has a state-of the art (yet empty) space to house them in the Acropolis Museum, and is still waiting. But you needn’t. For more tidbits on all manner of displaced works of art, read on.

1. Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Story of Notorious Art Heists, by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg (Palgrave Macmillan, $25). As the title suggests, the authors focus on the 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt Van Rijin and the vast body of work he left behind, With conservative estimates placing authentic Rembrandts at over 1,000, thieves have an ample selection from which to choose. Amore is the director of security at the Gardner Museum in Boston, which lost three Rembrandts among the 13 masterpieces swiped in the dead of night. Becoming obsessed with the case (still unsolved), Amore used his investigations as a jumping off point to explore the appeal of Rembrandt’s works for thieves and the entry of organized crime into art theft. He was aided by former Boston Herald reporter Mashberg, who wrote about the case on and off for 14 years (even being whisked off to an undisclosed site purportedly to see one of the stolen Rembrandts). Together they tell a compelling story.
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Global heritage – which museums have the right to own it?

Posted at 8:50 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Many of the large museums of the west, have in recent years, laid claim to being global museums – museums of such significance that they should own artefacts from around the world (Also known as Universal or Encyclopaedic Museums). In the eyes of the museums, this serves to weaken any claims made by other countries for ownership of items in their collections. There are arguments both for & against this proposition, but I find it hard to see how institutions can become a quasi global entity, that makes decisions about what is best for an artefact, when the role is entirely self-appointed & they own the artefact in question, so are unable to make unbiased judgements on it.

From:
policymic

Which Museums Have the Right to Own World Heritage?
Janine DeFeo in Global, Europe

Issues of the ownership of history periodically assert themselves in current affairs — the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s quiet admission of wrongful possession of some ancient Egyptian artifacts was news not least because the repatriation of objects is often the less common end to these kinds of disputes. Of course, the most famous of these is probably the controversy around the so-called “Elgin marbles” in the British Museum (the sculptures Lord Elgin acquired from the ruins of the Athenian Parthenon while serving as British ambassador to the Ottoman court in the early 19th century).

Since the 1980s, Greece has been trying to get these sculptures back, an effort that received renewed attention in 2009 with the opening of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, built to prove that Greece could provide an appropriate setting for the objects. There is very little hope of success; the British Museum is, predictably, in no hurry to return the objects (the museum estimates that they are seen by about five million people per year). The British Museum firmly believes in its rights to the objects, and it seems unlikely that they will ever be returned; a blanket call for the return of all antiquities to their place of origin is unrealistic.
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Does India own the silver on the wreck of the SS Gairsoppa in the North Atlantic

Posted at 8:42 am in Similar cases

In a story, that is not the first ownership controversy related to Odyssey Marine’s discoveries, silver on the wreck of a British Ship is also claimed by India. Such ownership claims mean that the ship will probably not be raised, as the money from the sale of the silver would pay for the operation – so if the owner is in doubt, the silver could not be sold.

From:
The Telegraph (India)

Wednesday , September 28 , 2011
Didi, bring back our treasure
AMIT ROY

London, Sept. 27: If Mamata Banerjee has the stomach for an empire-strikes-back-style battle, she can request Manmohan Singh to stake claim to silver worth crores found in the North Atlantic and restore to Calcutta some wealth from its bustling past.

Britain’s legal claim to 7 million ounces of silver worth £150 million (Rs 1,150 crore) found in the wreckage of a British cargo steamship is being challenged by Indian historians who say the treasure belongs to India.
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March 19, 2012

British Museum publishes its first Manga title

Posted at 6:40 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

More coverage of the publication of the English language version of the Manga book set in the British Museum.

From:
The Bookseller

British Museum to publish first manga title
03.10.11 | Charlotte Williams

The British Museum Press is teaming up with Japanese star Hoshino Yukinobu to publish its first manga book, featuring the artist’s most famous character, Professor Munakata.

Marketing and publicity executive Sarah Morgan said the book came about after Yukinobu visited an exhibition of his work held at the museum in 2009, and was inspired by his surroundings. The story was first published in Japan as a 10-part serial in Big Comic magazine. The British Museum Press will publish one single volume as a £14.99 paperback on 31st October.
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Should American institutions be more open to cultural property restitution?

Posted at 6:36 pm in Similar cases

Following on from the verdict over the peculiar & opportunistic case for seizure of Iranian artefacts in US museums, this article asks though, whether now is the time for such museums to re-consider the legitimacy of artefacts in the collection.

From:
The Crimson

Cultural Loot
Harvard and others should be more open to art repatriation
By The Crimson Staff
Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last week, Harvard escaped from a bizarre and potentially damaging lawsuit after federal judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. threw out a request from a group representing victims of Iranian terrorist attacks to seize various Persian artifacts from Harvard. Still awaiting unpaid damages that a U.S. court ruled they were owed by the Iranian government, the group—under the leadership of Jenny Rubin—has recently set its sights on certain artifacts they believe to be the property of the Iranian government. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, however, these artifacts are held in various collections such as the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and Harvard’s Peabody Museum, which acquired them long before the Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979.

And while Judge O’Toole’s ruling appears in part a straightforward and appropriate rejection of what seems a patently opportunistic attempt to benefit financially from both the tainted reputation of the Iranian regime and a warped view of history, it included a broader stance on the issue surrounding the ownership of formerly stolen artifacts—a controversy in which Harvard’s own position, in our view, warrants a re-evaluation.
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Weary Herakles bust to be returned by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to Turkey

Posted at 6:31 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the return of the Weary Heracles from the USA to Turkey.

From:
BBC News

22 July 2011 Last updated at 16:35
Weary Herakles bust to be returned by US to Turkey

The top half of the Weary Herakles statue, which was bought by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1982, is to be returned to its native Turkey.

After an ongoing dispute, the MFA will reunite the bust with its lower half at the Antalya Museum later this year.
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The artefacts from Yale arrive back in the highlands of Peru

Posted at 6:28 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the return of artefacts to Peru by Yale University.

From:
Fox News

Antiquities from Yale’s Collection Arrive in Peru’s Highlands
Published June 23, 2011
EFE

Lima – A first batch of 350 artifacts removed from Machu Picchu and held by Yale University for almost 100 years have been returned to the highland Peruvian city of Cuzco, ancient capital of the Inca empire.

The arrival of the pieces on Wednesday ended a long custody battle over the antiquities, which left Peru on loan in the early 20th century. It also marked the start of festivities in Cuzco to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “discovery” of the famed Inca citadel by U.S. academic and explorer Hiram Bingham.
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Viking hoard returns to Harrogate

Posted at 6:20 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

This is far from the first time, that displaying artefacts near to where they were discovered is seen as important when it is within the UK. When similar requests are made by countries such as Greece or Egypt though, it is described as cultural nationalism.

From:
Ripon Gazette

Wednesday 21 September 2011
Viking hoard returns to Harrogate
Published on Wednesday 21 September 2011 12:00

THE Vale of York Viking hoard returned to the district in which it was discovered last week, when it went on display at Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery.

The treasure, which will be on loan to the gallery until January 15, was found in 2007 by father-and-son David and Andrew Whelan.
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New Acropolis Museum director speaks at Cambridge University

Posted at 6:15 pm in New Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum Director, Dimitrios Pandermalis has given his first UK lecture since the opening of the museum in 2009.

From:
Media Newswire

Director of the New Acropolis Museum to speak in Cambridge

Making his first trip to the UK since the New Acropolis Museum opened in 2009, Professor Pandermalis will discuss building the new museum, which took over 30 years to plan, nine years to build and cost around 129 million Euros.

(Media-Newswire.com) – Making his first trip to the UK since the New Acropolis Museum opened in 2009, Professor Pandermalis will discuss building the new museum, which took over 30 years to plan, nine years to build and cost around 129 million Euros.
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Sale of sacred Australian Aboriginal artefact cancelled

Posted at 2:06 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the cancellation of the auction of the Aboriginal Tjuringa stone.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Auction of sacred Aboriginal stone cancelled
By Bonnie Malkin, Sydney
12:00PM BST 07 Sep 2011

An English auction house has cancelled the sale of a rare and deeply sacred Aboriginal stone after outcry in Australia.

The delicately etched “Tjuringa” stone, which according to tradition must never be seen by women, was expected to fetch £6000 at a sale organised by Canterbury Auction Galleries.
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The closest the Lewis Chessmen got to their home

Posted at 2:01 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Having worked their way through various museums in their current tour, the Lewis Chessmen are going to be put on display in the local museum in Uig, close to where they were found. The catch – they are only on display there for four and a half hours, and the exhibitions there will only include a small percentage of the total collection.

From:
BBC News

8 September 2011 Last updated at 11:48
Lewis Chessmen return ‘home’ to Uig Museum exhibition

Six Lewis Chessmen are to go on display at a museum close to where more than 90 of the historic pieces were found buried in a sand dune in 1831.

A knight, pawn, warder, king, queen and bishop will be on public display at Uig Museum for four-and-a-half hours on 13 September.
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