Showing results 1 - 12 of 33 for the month of November, 2012.

November 29, 2012

“Universal Objects” such as Cyrus Cylinder more easily lent to US museums than Iranian ones

Posted at 8:55 am in British Museum, Similar cases

While its great to enable as many people as possible to see iconic ancient artefacts, I have a couple of issues with this. First of all, it seems that a loan to not one, but five different museums can take place with relatively little fuss – yet when it was loaned to Iran (the original owners of the artefact), it was a long drawn out process over a number of years involving threats of legal action and to withdraw other cooperation before finally they were able to receive it.

At the end, Neil MacGregor talks about Universal Objects – clearly, this is the next step on from the Universal Museum, which he is is so fond of. Clearly now, we can have objects, that by association of name, if nothing else, can only be displayed in Universal Museums and are no longer valid for consideration for return to their original owners. As with the Universal Museum concept though, the real issue though, as I have mentioned before, is that the museums claiming to fill this role are entirely self appointed to it. No international committee chose them for this, no others were involved in assigning them to this undertaking.

New York Times

November 27, 2012, 7:00 pm
A British Museum Treasure Will Visit the United States

The Cyrus Cylinder — one of the most famous objects in the British Museum — will travel from its home in London to five museums in the United States next year.

Often referred to as “the first bill of human rights” because its inscription encourages freedom of worship throughout the Persian Empire, it is a small clay object — not quite nine inches long — bearing an account, in Babylonian cuneiform, by Cyrus, the King of Persia of his conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C. The cylinder was found in what was once Babylon, now Iraq, in 1879 during a British Museum excavation and has been on display at the museum ever since. It is one of the most famous objects to have survived from the ancient world.
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November 28, 2012

“Back to the county where it belongs” (Perhaps we call it “cultural regionalism”) versus “Cultural nationalism”

Posted at 2:37 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Yet again, we see an example, where campaigns to keep items in the area where they were found are praised as a great thing, whereas campaigns for the return of looted artefacts are decried as cultural nationalism.

I have no particular objection to the first part – but if we follow this path, then we must somehow find a way to stop objecting to the second part – there is no reason why the cases should be treated in a completely different way depending on which side of the fence we find ourselves in the argument. M any of the cases like this that crop up are within a country – but this still makes them not much different from the Lewis Chessmen, the Mold Cape, or the Lindisfarne Gospels.

What makes the whole situation even less logical, is that many of the items that have been the subject of cultural regionalism have very little to actually tie them to the region where they were found. Often, they are lose items like coins or jewelry that could have been transported anywhere. We have little idea of who they belonged to, or quite how they ended up where they did. Compare such cases to that of the Parthenon Marbles – purpose designed and carved to be seen in a specific way on a specific building in a specific location. The context in their cases was everything – they were never like a painting or small statue to be moved around, but as much a part of the building as the columns, walls, floor or roof.

Redditch Advertiser

Worcestershire Hoard will come back to the county for good
2:50pm Tuesday 27th November 2012 in News

MUSEUMS Worcestershire is delighted that the appeal to raise funds to acquire the Worcestershire Hoard has been successful and the hoard will now come back to the county where it belongs.

Efforts to raise funds to conserve and display the coins will continue into the New Year.

Just over a year ago Worcestershire hit the headlines with the discovery of the largest haul of treasure ever found in the county, a stash of almost 4,000 Roman coins discovered by two metal detecting enthusiasts, including Jethro Carpenter from Redditch, in the Vale of Evesham on Bredon Hill.
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November 27, 2012

Greek Photographer Nelly’s nudes of dancer Mona Paeva on the Acropolis

Posted at 2:39 pm in Events

Some of the most famous photos of the Acropolis are those taken by the Greek Photographer Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari AKA Nelly, of the nude ballerina Mona Paeva.

A new exhibition shows these, along with other works by the photographer and runs until 12th January in Athens’s AlphaDelta gallery.

You can see more information about the exhibition at the Gallery’s website.

Greek Reporter

Nude on the Parthenon: Nelly’s Picture Show
By Marianna Tsatsou on November 27, 2012 in Culture, News

The Athens-based AlphaDelta gallery is presenting a solo show-tribute to the photographer Nelly (also known as Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari, 1899 Aydin, Asia Minor – 1998 Athens, Greece) entitled Un nouveau regard (A new glance).

At the exhibit, which runs from Nov. 10 this year to Jan. 12, 2013, a series of works of the famed Greek photographer will be shown, including New York Easter Parade. She was known for her work in what was called New Objectivity.
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More on the finds related to Lord Elgin and the Parthenon sculptures during excavations of the Mentor shipwreck off Kythera

Posted at 2:21 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Marbles Reunited’s campaign Manager, Maria Koutsikou attended a lecture given in Athens yesterday by John Fardoulis, the person in charge of the excavations of Lord Elgin’s ship, The Mentor, which was wrecked off Kythera en-route to England via Malta.

You can read the full writeup of the event here.

All artefacts from February robbery at Olympia recovered by Greek police

Posted at 2:14 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

All the artefacts taken from the museum in Olympia earlier this year have now been recovered, after a police operation arrested three suspects.

China Post

Greek police crack Olympia robbery, recover artefacts after three Greek men offer them
Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 0:03 am TWN, AFP

PATRAS, Greece–Greece officials announced on Saturday they had solved an embarrassing museum robbery in Olympia in February after a police sting operation netted three suspects and recovered dozens of archaeological artifacts.

Earlier Saturday, police said they had arrested three Greek men aged between 36 and 50, and were seeking another two suspects.
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Will the British Museum ever lose the Parthenon Marbles?

Posted at 2:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

The story of the Parthenon & how it ended up in the partially ruined state we see today fascinates many people. Lord Elgin played a clear part in the destruction of the building, but the British Museum continues to ignore any invitations to discuss the issue of the return of the sculptures seriously.

San Diego Daily Transcript

Will Elgin lose his marbles?
By Larry Stirling
Monday, November 19, 2012

(ATHENS, Greece) — Wealthy Englishman Thomas Bruce, aka the Seventh Earl of Elgin, was appointed ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1798.

Athens, indeed all of Greece, was then a part of it.
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November 23, 2012

Turkey wants a dialogue with France over disputed antiquities in Louvre

Posted at 2:01 pm in Similar cases

For some months now, Turkey has been increasing their efforts to retrieve disputed artefacts held by foreign museums. Now, their Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay is requesting a dialogue with the Louvre over the return of various artefacts held by the French Museum.

Art Daily

Turkey’s Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay wants talks with France on ‘stolen’ antiques
Friday, November 23, 2012

PARIS (AFP).- Turkey wants to start a “dialogue” with French authorities for the return of tiles and other antiquities on display at the Louvre museum in Paris, Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay said Thursday.

Saying the artefacts “were stolen at the end of the 19th century”, Gunay said: “We want talks to start between French authorities and the board controlling Turkish museums to work on the issue and take stock.
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Online petition to return the Halicarnassus mausoleum from the British Museum

Posted at 1:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is now in the British Museum in London and groups in Turkey have for some time campaigned for its return.

You can add your signature to their petition here.

Hurriyet Daily News

Campaign started for relic
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

A digital signature campaign has been initiated ahead of a lawsuit that will be opened at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in January for the return to Turkey of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum.

According to a written statement, several artists have signed the campaign on the website The signatures will be collected as part of the lawsuit lawyer Remzi Kazmaz will file, with 30 other lawyers, at the ECHR on Jan. 30.
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Elgin’s artefacts that got lost in transit

Posted at 9:03 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Over the last couple of years, Greek Australian John Fardoulis has been carrying out archaeological excavations on the wreck of Elgin’s ship, the Mentor. The boat sank in a storm off the coast of Kythera, and at the time was carrying many of the Parthenon sculptures, although these were later retrieved by sponge divers from Kalymnos. The new excavations of the wreck site, have revealed some interesting artefacts that were in Elgin’s posession – although nothing so far that relates directly to the Parthenon Marbles.

Greek Reporter

Greek Antiquities Found On Mentor Shipwreck
By Christina Flora on November 20, 2012

The underwater shipwreck excavation of the wreck of the ship Mentor, that sank off the island of Kythera in 1802 while carrying goods plundered from the Parthenon by British diplomat Lord Elgin has proved to be a treasure trove of personal items from the passengers and crew.

A greater number of coins were also found, at least two ancient silver coins which were antiquities acquired by Elgin, passengers or the crew,along with two gold coins, used as currency at the time, from the late 1700’s. Other coins were also recovered but require conservation before they can be identified. Some of these may also be ancient.
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November 22, 2012

As Homer Simpson would say “it’s funny ’cause it’s true” (or at least part of it is)

Posted at 1:59 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

One of the many famous utterances of Homer Simpson, is that “it’s funny ’cause it’s true”. The same could be said of this spoof article – aside from the idea of sending modern day looters there, which hasn’t been suggested yet by the government, but it doesn’t take too much stretching of the imagination to imagine it happening.

Afterall, how could any modern day obstreperous larrikin hoping to save a couple of hundred pounds on a TV hope to compete with some of the great British looters of old, who are now revered as great adventurers, discoverers and protectors of world history.

The only thing that wouldn’t occur if it happened is people in the government managing to see the irony in the plan.

Daily Squib

Looters of Summer 2011 Rehabilitated With Visits to British Museum
By Sir Neil Sloane 4 hours 50 minutes ago

LONDON – England – The Summer of 2011 was notable for the riots across Britain, and the chaos that ensued such riotous looting behaviour. There is some positive news about the people involved in the rioting, as government agencies have rehabilitated over 95% of the looters, sources claim.

“The looters of 2011 are all rehabilitated and cured. It was actually quite a simple operation to cure the majority of the looters and vandals who perpetrated such heinous bouts of rioting during the late Summer 2011. We simply took them on weekly excursions to the British Museum in London to show them that looting is a terrible crime and must be stopped at all costs,” Angela Brinkinstowe, a health worker at the government’s Loot Less Initiative told the Daily Mail.
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November 19, 2012

Dispute over the Palestinian Shellal Mosaic in Canberra’s war memorial

Posted at 9:24 am in Similar cases

Journalists around the world, seem to love drawing comparisons in cultural property cases – usually stating that the case in question is that country’s Elgin Marbles. This story below is not the first time I’ve read an article about Australia’s Elgin Marbles. Whilst the article makes interesting reading & the case is definitely worthy of consideration, I think we really should avoid making these comparisons so regularly, while at the same time archaeologists are arguing that each case is unique & should be judged on its own merits. The fact that one artefacts is disputed does not automatically make it a direct (or even close) equivalent to another case.

The other interesting point to note is that this case involves Australia – a country that has lead the way in securing the return of Aboriginal remains from around the world, but at the same time has many unresolved issues of its own to sort out too.

These cases often seem very different to the countries on the other side of them.

The Global Mail

War And Pieces
By Paul DaleyNovember 9, 2012

A beautiful mosaic pilfered from the Palestinian front during World War I now hangs in Canberra’s Australian War Memorial, shoved awkwardly behind a newly built wall, testament to a growing national embarrassment. The mystery of Australia’s Elgin Marbles.

OVER THE YEARS I’ve spent many hours sitting in front of the Shellal Mosaic at the Australian War Memorial, pondering its creators and admiring its exquisite artistry. It is stuck to a wall and softly lit behind a vast pane of glass in what was once a prominent position in the Hall of Valour, which honours all Australian Victoria Cross winners.
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November 16, 2012

Spain, Bolivia, The silver coins & Odyssey Marine

Posted at 9:15 am in Similar cases

Donna Yates has made an interesting post on her blog about the latest developments in the long running case of the Spanish silver salvaged by Odyssey Marine. In the post, she also looks in ore detail into when an item becomes Cultural Property.

Read it here.