Quote of the Day

It ought to be borne in mind that it is not dignified in a great nation to reap profit from halftruths and half-rights; honesty is the best policy – and honesty in the case of the Elgin marbles means restitution.

C.P. Cavafy, Greek poet

March 23, 2004

A digital reproduction of the Parthenon marbles

Posted at 9:22 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A project is underway to create high quality digital scans of all the Parthenon sculptures. The intention of this exercise is so that pieces in different museums can be seen together virtually without them ever actually leaving the museums.
To me this sounds too much like a way for institutions such as the British Museum to try & strengthen their argument, by offering to return virtual copies rather than the actual artefacts themselves.

BBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 10:01 GMT
New life for old Elgin Marbles?

One of the greatest artworks of all time is scattered in fragments across Europe. But there is now a way to view the surviving Parthenon sculptures together for the first time – a virtual reconstruction.

They’re still magnificent nearly 2,500 years after being carved, but the sculptures of the Parthenon are a bit like sad ghosts – pale, battered, half-lost and spread far and wide.
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March 1, 2004

Calls for Parthenon Marbles return

Posted at 1:45 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

Debate on the Parthenon Marbles continues – with many different opinions.

Star Ledger (New Jersey)

Crusade calls for art’s return
Amid Olympic fervor, Britain entreated to give back Greek masterpieces
Sunday, February 29, 2004
For the Star-Ledger

LONDON — When a British ambassador pried some 70 tons of sculpture from the walls of the Parthenon in the early 1800s to decorate his Scottish estate, Athens was a remote outpost of the Ottoman Empire.

Greece did not exist as an independent country. And ancient treasures around the world belonged to anyone important and rich enough to cart them away.
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February 29, 2004

Could the return of the Elgin Marbles aid Scottish Museums?

Posted at 1:58 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

An exchange of artefacts in return for the Restitution of the Elgin Marbles could be beneficial beyond the context of the British Museum.

The Scotsman

Saturday, 28th February 2004
Elgin Marbles plan to aid museums

SCOTTISH museums could benefit from a plan to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece, it has been claimed.

The Scottish launch of the Marbles Reunited campaign is being held in Inverness tonight, with the aim of persuading the government and the British Museum in London to agree to release the marbles on long-term loan in time for the Olympic Games in Athens.
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Marbles Reunited at the Athens Concert Hall

Posted at 1:55 pm in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

The Marbles Reunited campaign has organised an exhibition about the Elgin Marbles that is currently on display at the Athens Concert Hall.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Saturday February 28, 2004
‘The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles: A Cultural Imperative’

Nothing can stop an idea when it’s time has come, and now that 80 percent of the British people have agreed in a poll that it is time for the British Museum to give the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece, the process has been set in motion. The decision is up to the British government. The British Museum is the cultural body charged with guarding and exhibiting the “Elgin” Marbles — that is, the Parthenon Marbles, taken down and taken away by Lord Elgin, who was then the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. However, the cause can be helped by the presence of someone with the stature of the president of Greece, Costis Stephanopoulos, a personage who can achieve as much as a dozen exhibitions, petitions and speeches. Read the rest of this entry »

February 28, 2004

Acropolis Museum delays impact opening date

Posted at 2:03 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

More on the delays to the proposed opening date of the New Acropolis Museum.

The Guardian

Greek Museum Won’t Be Ready for Olympics
Tuesday February 24, 2004 11:46 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – A new Acropolis museum being built to house sculptures from the ancient Parthenon will not be finished before the Aug. 13-29 Olympics, Greece’s culture minister said Tuesday.

The museum at the foot of the Acropolis hill – held up by court actions from residents – is a key part of Athens’ drive to press for the return of the collection from the British Museum in London.
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February 27, 2004

New Acropolis Museum unlikely to open for the Olympics

Posted at 2:00 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Despite the best efforts of some of the people involved, it now seems that the various delays earlier in the project mean that the New Acropolis Museum will not be open in time of the Olympics later this year.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Wednesday February 25, 2004 – Archive
Plan B for Acropolis Museum?

As the government yesterday blamed the judiciary for delays in construction of the new Acropolis Museum, a senior project official said there are contingency plans should the building not be ready — even as a shell — in six months’ time.

Athens had initially planned to have the 94-million-euro museum in place for the Olympics, hoping to shame the British Museum into complying with Greece’s demand for the return of the Parthenon, or Elgin, Marbles. However, some 20 months after the foundations were supposed to have been laid under the Acropolis, nothing has materialized.
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February 25, 2004

Egypt wants artefacts returned

Posted at 2:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A conference in Egypt has called for the return of artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone, which is currently held in the British Msueum.

BBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 12:10 GMT
Arabs want ancient artefacts back

A regional conference in Egypt has called on Western museums to return “stolen” Middle Eastern artefacts to their country of origin.

Lawyers taking part in the event said monuments such as the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum had been plundered and should be handed back.
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February 21, 2004

European deputies call for return of Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:52 pm in Elgin Marbles

A letter signed by 208 European deputies has been delivered to Tony Blair urging him to return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.

Macedonian Press Agency

Athens, 18 February 2004 (20:48 UTC+2)

A total of 208 Euro-deputies signed a letter addressed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, at the initiative of Coalition of Radical Left Greek Euro-deputy Alekos Alavanos, calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

The letter is signed, among others, by former European Commission President Jacques Sander, three European Parliament Presidents, three Presidents of European Parliament Groups, Olympic Games medallists Echerer and Mennea and Italian prosecutor Di Pietro.
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February 16, 2004

Ethiopia asks Queen to give back treasure

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

Ethiopia is asking the Queen to return Ethiopian Artefacts that were taken from the country over 130 years ago.

The Times

The Sunday Times – Britain
February 15, 2004
Ethiopia asks Queen to give back treasure
Peter Conradi and Justin Sparks

THE QUEEN is being asked to hand over manuscripts that have been kept at Windsor Castle since they were looted from Ethiopia by the British Army more than 130 years ago. The campaign for the return of the documents is being led by Professor Richard Pankhurst, whose grandmother Emmeline was the suffragette leader.

Pankhurst, who teaches at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, has written to the Queen pointing out that his home country is now capable of looking after its own treasures. He says the documents — dating from the 16th and 17th centuries and all richly illustrated — are “six of the finest Ethiopian religious manuscripts in existence”.
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February 14, 2004

Some Greek art will return for the Olympics

Posted at 2:04 pm in Greece Archaeology

Some Greek artefacts will be returned to Athens temporarily for the Olympics – The Elgin Marbles aren’t included on the list though.

The Scotsman

Fri 13 Feb 2004
Greek art returning for the Olympics

THE world’s major museums, including the British Museum, will contribute parts of their ancient Greek art collections for display during the Olympic Games at Athens’s National Archaeological Museum.

Nikolaos Kaltsas, the museum’s director, said the exhibit, named agon – “contest” in ancient Greek – will feature 235 sculptures and vessels from 18 foreign and Greek museums, including the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan in New York City and the Vatican in Rome.
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February 13, 2004

Looted armour returned to France

Posted at 2:06 pm in Similar cases

A major British Museum has returned an artefact from their collection to another museum – an action that in the past many museums have claimed would set a precedent for the emptying of their collections. Presumably the decision to make this move suggests that the Royal Armouries are certain that the sky won’t fall in on them as a result.

The Guardian

Looted armour sent back to France
Maev Kennedy, arts and heritage correspondent in Paris
Thursday February 12, 2004
The Guardian

Yesterday, in a handsome panelled room in the shadow of Napoleon’s tomb in Paris, something happened which will send a shiver down the spine of many museum directors: a major British museum sent something back.

The exhibit concerned was a pair of tassets – thigh covers from a suit of 16th-century armour – which probably left Paris in a soldier’s kitbag. Almost two centuries later they have returned to the Musée de l’Armée on the Eurostar.
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February 8, 2004

Russia buys back (some of) its heritage

Posted at 2:07 pm in Similar cases

Some of Russia’s new millionaires are attempting to buy back heritage to have it within the country once more – whether this is for their own benefit, or solely for the greater good of the country remains to be seen however.

Washington Post

Old Russia’s Art Retrieved With New Russian Wealth
By Linda Hales
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2004; Page C01

A fabled collection of Faberge art objects took American mogul Malcolm S. Forbes three decades to amass. In a sign of the changing world order, the cache was snapped up this week in a single stroke by one of Russia’s new tycoons.

The secretly negotiated purchase not only preempted a bejeweled auction scheduled for April 20 in New York. It also threatened to open the Pandora’s box of the art world.
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