Showing 6 results for the month of June, 2013.

June 19, 2013

The Acropolis Museum – A Greek success story four years on

Posted at 1:19 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

In my mind, I have a picture of the Acropolis Museum celebrating its birthday – perhaps in a big party to which all the other museums are invited. Each year, it excitedly waits in hope of a giant cake in the shape of the Elgin Marbles – but it never arrives & it is left to celebrate on its own, hoping that the next year will be better.

Don’t get me wrong – it is still an amazing museum & should be on the itinerary of any visitor to Athens. But, to jump back to the previous analogy, if it was a cake, it would only have half the icing on – there are patches everywhere with no icing, and everyone wonders when these bits will be finished.

Greek Reporter

Acropolis Museum’s 4th Anniversary
By Christina Flora on June 18, 2013

The Acropolis Museum opened its gates when the great economic crisis started affecting Greece. But it had the luck to be embraced by the Greek and international public, giving it the chance to operate for four years without public subsidy.

The Acropolis Museum celebrates its fourth birthday with optimism for the future. On Thursday, June 20, the exhibition venue and the restaurant will remain open from 8am to midnight, while admission will be reduced to three euros for everyone.
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Germany’s moral right to reclaim from Russia the treasures (that they looted from others)

Posted at 1:11 pm in Similar cases

Berlin’s Pergamnon Museum has been the subject of various restitution requests from countries such as Turkey. Not for the first time though, Germany is trying to turn the whole situation on its head, by clamouring for the return of some of the artefacts from its museums that were taken by Russia. This approach would be fine – but for as long as it ignores the requests for restitution of items such as the Pergamon Altar, they shouldn’t expect other countries to have too much sympathy with their predicament.

It has to be added though – that Russia’s behaviour has hardly been exemplary either. Particularly in its attempts to deliberately highlight just how many artefacts they managed to illegally acquire from Germany.


Mary Dejevsky
Tuesday 18 June 2013
The Pergamon Museum offers a pointed message from Berlin to Russia – give our treasures back

Briefly in Berlin, I took time out to visit the Pergamon Museum, which houses –among many, many antiquities, the remains of the great temple and its altar. If you’re at all queasy about how the Elgin Marbles reached the British Museum and why they are still there, you should probably give the Pergamon temple a miss. Otherwise, it is one of the great relics of the ancient world, rescued – or looted, depending on your view – for the delectation and education of more northerly Europeans.

There are, though, good reasons why – despite any misgivings – it’s worth going. One is that the Pergamon Museum is part of a grand, and still growing, ensemble that occupies Museum Island just a short distance from the Reichstag. Clustering so many grand collections together, rather than scattering them around the city in the name of regeneration, provides a magnificent monument to high culture that is unique to Berlin.
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June 18, 2013

Look but don’t touch doesn’t seem to apply at the British Museum

Posted at 4:33 pm in British Museum

This is a very long time since the original article, because something someone said on twitter just jogged my memory about this story.

Back in 2005, the Daily Telegraph ran a story about damage sustained by the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum. At the time I contacted them with some images that I had taken during a previous visit to the museum. Initially they were interested in using these as the basis for a followup article, but subsequently the idea got dropped.

Anyway – during a visit to the British Museum, I was astounded to see how openly people were touching / stroking / grabbing / climbing on ancient artefacts, although the staff who were in the room seemed to be oblivious to it. In many ways, this is in stark contrast to the sometimes rather overzealous staff at some Greek museums who will blow whistles & shout to you the moment it looks like you might be able to do something that crosses the line between viewer & artefact. That said, however annoying they appear to be sometimes, they are doing a good job of protecting priceless ancient artefacts from further damage wherever possible.

The British Museum has said that it has a policy that artefacts must not be touched, but little effort is taken to enforce this.

What this all boils down to, is the assertions by the museum in the past that they are looking after disputed items such as the Elgin Marbles well, yet from what we can see, the opposite often seems to be the case.

The photos were taken as still from a video camera – hence the relatively poor quality. The original pictures are from late 2004 – but subsequent visits to the museum have confirmed that there is little real change in the situation depicted in them.

The Lego Acropolis at Sydney’s Nicholson Museum

Posted at 2:25 pm in Acropolis, Events

Sydney’s Nicholson Museum will be exhibiting a Lego reconstruction of the Athenian Acropolis on 6th – 7th July.

Timeout Sydney

Lego Acropolis
06-07 Jul
Nicholson Museum’s next monumental (Lego) show

Having conquered the Lego Colosseum, the Nicholson Museum have engaged master builder Ryan McNaught (Australia’s only registered Lego builder) to recreate the 5th Century BC Acropolis of Athens, alongside the later Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a large stone amphitheatre built in 161AD. McNaught’s creations will be the centrepiece of this exhibition, which also features ancient Greek archaeological artefacts from the Nicholson Museum’s collection, including sculpture, pottery, and photographs of the Acropolis from the 1890s. There’s also (of course) a designated Lego construction site, for budding builders.
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Feds sieze over $100 million in smuggled art from Subhash Kapoor

Posted at 2:07 pm in Similar cases

Federal agents in the USA have siezed artefacts valued at over £100 million over the last two years, from dealer Subhash Kapoor. Kapoor is currently awaiting trial in India & has been described as one of the world’s most prolific antiquity smugglers.

Los Angeles Times

Feds pursue Manhattan art dealer suspected of smuggling
Agents seize art from a Madison Avenue gallery owner, saying evidence could unravel the biggest antiquities smuggling network identified since the 1990s.
By Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times
June 11, 2013, 5:30 a.m.

Federal agents have seized an estimated $100 million in art over the last two years from a prominent Manhattan antiquities dealer they describe as one of the most prolific antiquities smugglers in the world.

Subhash Kapoor, a 64-year-old American citizen, awaits trial in India, where he is accused of being part of an antiquities smuggling ring that American and Indian investigators say spanned continents. U.S. authorities have issued their own arrest warrant for Kapoor, saying they have evidence he supplied stolen art to leading museums around the world.
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June 17, 2013

Fourth birthday for New Acropolis Museum – but when will it get its star exhibit?

Posted at 1:12 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events, New Acropolis Museum

Its hard to believe that this Thursday marks the fourth anniversary of the opening of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. While the museum goes from strength to strength however, during this time, there has been little real progress with the issue of the Parthenon Marbles.

The museum was originally built to house the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum – and to remove the arguments that Greece had nowhere to house the sculptures. However, since the opening, the financial turmoil that has engulfed the country has meant that there has been little progress in moving the issue forward at all.

While the country has many very important issues to focus on, it is a shame that this museum (which is in many ways, a game changer in the case & Greece’s strongest argument) has not been used to full effect. At the moment it is still new – so now is the time when the argument is strongest, otherwise it eventually just becomes accepted as part of the status quo of the situation.

Hopefully big things will happen before the next anniversary celebration comes around…


Acropolis Museum fourth birthday
17/06 12:57 CET

On Thursday 20 June 2013, the Acropolis Museum celebrates its fourth birthday. The exhibition areas will remain open from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight. The restaurant will be open during the same hours. On this occasion, admission will be reduced (3 euros) for all visitors.

Visitors will have the opportunity to discover, together with Museum Archaeologist – Hosts, untold stories of the surviving blocks of the frieze, with the aid of 3D presentations on special screens installed in the Parthenon Gallery.
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