Showing results 1 - 12 of 62 for the month of April, 2012.

April 27, 2012

Norway gets permission to excavate and export the wreck of the Maud from Canada

Posted at 8:23 am in Similar cases

Further to my previous post about the wreck of Roald Amundsen’s ship in Canada, the Canadian Heritage organisation has contacted me with updated information about this story.

Canadian Heritage

At its meeting on March 15, 2012, the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board reviewed the decision to refuse the export permit for the Maud.

The Board makes decisions on appeals of refused export permits based on criteria of “outstanding significance and national importance,” as per section 11 of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

The Board issued the following statement:

“The Board was sensitive to both sides of the story of the Maud and appreciated all the relevant information presented by the expert examiner and the appellant, the Norwegian Embassy. The Board recognized the shared heritage of Canada, Norway and the world, and after careful consideration of the criteria under the Act, determined that an export permit will be granted for the Maud. ”

As a result of this decision, the export permit for the Maud will be issued by the Canada Border Services Agency at the request of the applicant.

April 25, 2012

Intelligence Squared organises London debate on the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:21 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events

Intelligence Squared are organising a debate about whether the Parthenon Sculptures should be returned to Greece.

Speakers include Stephen Fry, who has recently written at length about why he supports the campaign for their return.

According to the website, the debate will also be later screened on BBC World News.

Intelligence Squared

Send them back: The Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens
June 11th, 2012, Cadogan Hall
Doors open at 6pm. The debate will begin at 6.45pm and finish at 8.30pm

What’s all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin hadn’t rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures – the finest embodiment of the classical ideal of beauty and harmony – would have been lost to the ravages of pollution and time. So we have every right to keep them: indeed, returning them would set a dangerous precedent, setting off a clamour for every Egyptian mummy and Grecian urn to be wrenched from the world’s museums and sent back to its country of origin. It is great institutions like the British Museum that have established such artefacts as items of world significance: more people see the Marbles in the BM than visit Athens every year. Why send them back to relative obscurity?

But aren’t such arguments a little too imperialistic? All this talk of visitor numbers and dangerous precedents – doesn’t it just sound like an excuse for Britain to hold on to dubiously acquired treasures that were removed without the consent of the Greek people to whom they culturally and historically belong? That’s what Lord Byron thought, and now Stephen Fry is taking up the cause. We should return the Marbles as a gesture of solidarity with Greece in its financial distress, says Fry, and as a mark of respect for the cradle of democracy and the birthplace of rational thought.
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Egyptian antiquities smuggler Mousa Khouli pleads guilty

Posted at 1:04 pm in Similar cases

The trial of a smuggler of looted Egyptian antiquities is currently ongoing in the USA. Once again, it is great to see real action being taken in such cases, but it serves to highlight the oddity of how artefacts taken using similar means, not that many years ago, are legitimately on display in many museums, with little fear of any sort of legal comeback.

You can read a more in-depth analysis of this case here.

Independent Online

SA Time: 25 April 2012 15:01:30
Dealer admits smuggling Egyptian treasures
April 19 2012 at 12:21pm

New York – An antiques dealer pleaded guilty on Wednesday to smuggling ancient Egyptian treasures, including a coffin, to the United States.

Mousa Khouli, also known as Morris Khouli, aged 38, faces up to 20 years of prison for “smuggling Egyptian cultural property into the United States and making a false statement to law enforcement authorities,” the federal prosecutor’s office in New York said.
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Appeal for the protection of Greek cultural heritage

Posted at 12:48 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Greece’s financial crisis has hit the country’s cultural sector particularly hard – it is easier to cut funding for an archaeology site, than it is for citizens who will vote against the people who made the cuts at the next election.

I’m slightly puzzled by the event in this article though – and the results it intends to produce – they are calling for protection of Greek heritage, with banners in the room where the Parthenon Marbles are, but make no specific mention about the demands for the return of such artefacts (at least not any mentioned in the text).

Note – after this was written, the organisation contacted me to point out that they do also support the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

Greek Reporter

Solidarity Placard for Greeks Inside the British Museum
By Marianna Tsatsou on April 24, 2012

For years, the British Museum has been a sort of guest room for the Parthenon Marbles. Hundreds of tourists visit the Greek sculptures, despite the fact that they are many miles away from their birthplace.

Members of the Coalition of Resistance, President of which is British former politician Tony Benn, showed their support to Greece by hanging a placard writing “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay. Solidarity for Greece” in the Hellenic Exhibition Hall of the British Museum.
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Berlin court rules that museum must return poster collection looted by Nazis

Posted at 7:54 am in Similar cases

A court in Berlin has ruled that a German Museum must return a collection of rare posters that were taken from the ancestors of Peter Sachs by the Nazis in 1938. The court made the decision, because to rule otherwise would “would perpetuate Nazi injustice”. If only such moral judgements could be made in British courts regarding the requests for return of artefacts such as the Parthenon Marbles. It is worth noting that due to the size of the collection, in recent years, only a small part of it has ever been on display as the museum at any one time.

BBC News

16 March 2012 Last updated at 12:35
Nazi looted poster art must be returned to Peter Sachs

A Jewish man has won his fight against a German museum for the return of thousands of rare posters stolen from his father by the Nazis in 1938.

Berlin’s Federal Court of Justice ruled Peter Sachs, who now lives in the US, is the rightful owner of the posters.
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April 24, 2012

Could licensing its history help Greece end its financial crisis?

Posted at 5:41 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Most countries in the western world inherit a huge amount of their cultural tradition from the ancient Greeks. From the Romans onwards, the political systems, philosophical approach, art & architecture have all borrowed heavily on Hellenic culture, using it as their foundations. Perhaps now is the time for some of these countries to think about how they can give something back – to acknowledge their cultural debt to Greece, by doing whatever they can to help support the country in its current situation.

Tourism is a huge source of income for Greece, bringing foreign money into the country – so the crisis shouldn’t be seen as a reason to stay away – but an excuse (as if one was needed) to return & rediscover the country.

Greece has made steps towards monetizing the licensing of its intellectual property – these should be given the support they deserve, rather than criticised as profiteering.

Perhaps most of all, for the reasons already given, now is the right time to return the Parthenon Marbles. They would be safe, because they would be held in the recently opened New Acropolis Museum & they would bring a fresh influx of tourists to Athens to see the sculptures reunited for the first time in over two hundred years. If Britain ever found itself in a similar situation, surely the British would expect the same?


3/15/2012 @ 3:01PM |1,493 views
One Way Greece Could Get Out Of Debt: License Its History

Of all the places I know, Greece lies most at the core to me, the place to which I always return as if visiting a beloved, again. To be there has always meant to be surrounded by life, poems, history, legacy, beauty of place, art and timelessness. Greece, for so many, has been a fountain of thought, cradle and pillar of western civilization, of course.

Such is its fascination for me that I carry a pocket Odyssey with me always, to read if I find myself waiting, wherever I may be waiting. And such is the global fascination with Homer’s great epic that I just recently read of yet another expedition to locate Odysseus’ home, the island to which he could not help but return.
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Greek Australians want the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 5:27 pm in Elgin Marbles

The International Organising Committee Australia for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, has launched their new website. The IOCARPM is one of two committees in Australia, whose sole aim is to campaign for the return of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum to the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

ABC (Australia)

Push to return Parthenon Marbles to Greece
Updated March 15, 2012 09:10:50

There has been a renewed call from a committee of Greek Australians for the British government to return the Elgin or Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

The marbles are Greek sculptures that were part of the Parthenon, but have been held in London’s British Museum for nearly 200 years.
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Metope Of The Annunciation goes on display in the Acropolis Museum

Posted at 5:21 pm in Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum

The Metope Of The Annunciation, which was previously undergoing restoration after being removed from the Parthenon is to go on public display in the New Acropolis Museum.

Greek Reporter

Metope Of The Annunciation To Be Exhibited At The Acropolis Museum
By Fani Toli on March 13, 2012

The 32nd metope of the Annunciation, that has been removed from the Parthenon temple atop the Athens Acropolis for conservation, will be exhibited at the Acropolis Museum of Athens on the 25th of March.

The 32nd metope from the southwestern side of the Parthenon, a Classical Era temple dedicated to the mythical goddess Athena, is known as the metope of the Annunciation because it was thought to resemble the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and it is the first time that it is being exhibited at the Acropolis museum.
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Greece’s austerity plan threatens the country’s antiquities

Posted at 5:17 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Another article on the effect that Greece’s financial crisis is having on the country’s ancient sites. As government budgets are cut, there is far less money than before for maintaining the sites & providing security on them, leading to increased levels of damage & looting.


Greek antiquities threatened by austerity plan
By Adam Carter, CBC News
Posted: Mar 13, 2012 10:02 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2012 10:06 AM ET

Sites like the Acropolis and the Parthenon have withstood tsunamis, earthquakes and the ravages of time — but some are questioning whether they can withstand the Greek debt crisis.

Thefts of ancient artifacts and cuts to culture and museum programs are ravaging a place that’s deeply tied to its past.
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Will Canada allow Norway to excavate & remove Roald Amundsen’s ship?

Posted at 5:09 pm in Similar cases

In an intriguing case, Norway would like the rights to excavate & remove (to a museum in Norway), the ship of the polar explorer Roald Amundsen. So far, Canada have blocked the requests, as they feel hat the ship is of archaeological significance within Canada & needs a proper study & archaeological survey done before any decision could be made. On the other hand, nobody in Canada has the resources / willingness to carry out this survey – and as each year passes, the ship wreck will deteriorate further as it is battered by the elements in its exposed position on the beach.

Note that since this post was written, I have received updated information about the story, which is posted here.

Nunatsiaq Online

Nunavut March 12, 2012 – 11:53 am
Review board set to hear Norway’s claim to the Maud
“We cannot imagine that there’s anyone who can take over this ship”

It’s been more than 100 years since Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen sailed the Maud into the western Arctic, where it ended up sinking some years later in the waters off Cambridge Bay.

But the ship is still making waves.

On March 15 Canada’s cultural property export review board will meet in Ottawa to review a previous decision by the Canadian Border Services Agency to deny an export permit to a Norwegian group that wants to tow the half-submerged wreck of a ship off the shore back to Norway.
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Getty Museum returns gravestone fragments to Greece

Posted at 4:59 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

The Getty Museum has returned three fragments of an ancient gravestone to Greece, following a deal made in 2011. Two of the fragments join onto another fragment that had never left Greece.

Greece plans to lend other artefacts to the Getty in return.

Archaeology News Network

Getty Museum repatriates antiquities to Greece
Source: Associated Press [March 09, 2012]

Three ancient marble fragments from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles have been repatriated to Greece following a deal last year.

A culture ministry statement says two of the 2,400-year-old pieces are parts of the same broken gravestone decorated with relief sculptures, and will be joined onto a third section in a Greek museum.
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A new campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 4:50 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the new campaign / video about the return of the Elgin Marbles, by Ares Kalogeropoulos.

The original article has many images in it, which you need to see to fully appreciate what it is describing. You can view them in the original article here.

Cyprus News Report

New Campaign For The Return Of The Parthenon Marbles To Athens
Tue, 06/03/2012 – 13:22 — Savvas Hadjigeorgiou

Conductor and photographer Ares Kalogeropoulos who lives and works in Oldenburg, Germany has launched a campaign aiming at bringing back to the spotlight the long-awaited return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece.

“Let’s do something that history will look at us with her most affectionate look.” said Kalogeropoulos about the campaign.

The imaginative campaign is entitled “You can steal a statue but you cannot steal my origin”, is widely circulating on the Internet and it’s getting positive reviews for its part in preserving the Greek cultural heritage.
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