Warning: Use of undefined constant add_shortcode - assumed 'add_shortcode' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/mat8iou/public_html/elginism/wp-content/plugins/stray-quotes/stray_quotes.php on line 615
Arab Spring Archives • Elginism

Showing 7 results for the tag: Arab Spring.

April 10, 2014

How Monica Hanna used Twitter to fight art looters

Posted at 4:55 pm in Similar cases

Archaeologist Monica Hanna recently received a Beacon Award from Saving Antiquities for Everybody for her work in highlighting the looting of antiquities in Egypt. This article looks at how she used twitter to help to publicise the looting to the outside world.

Monica Hanna

Monica Hanna

From:
New York Times

Taking on Art Looters on Twitter
By TOM MASHBERGAPRIL 9, 2014

Monica Hanna stood inside the Malawi National Museum in Minya, Egypt, last August, armed only with a cellphone and her Twitter account, as looters ran rampant. Nearly all the objects she had loved since childhood — mummies and amulets, scarabs and carved ibises — were gone. In their place lay shattered glass, shards of pottery, splintered wood and the charred remains of a royal sarcophagus.

The thieves had stolen all but a few dozen of the museum’s 1,100 artifacts, leaving behind some statues and painted coffins that were too heavy to cart off. Dr. Hanna, a 30-year-old archaeologist, sent out a tweet pleading for help. Soon, she, some colleagues and local police officers were hauling the surviving relics to a truck as men fired automatic weapons nearby.
Read the rest of this entry »

June 7, 2012

The ongoing destruction of Syria’s heritage

Posted at 2:09 pm in Similar cases

The civil unrest in Syria, has received a lot of coverage that focusses on the human aspects of it – and rightly so. What has not been picked up as much by the press, is how much damage is also being inflicted on many of the country’s ancient sites, that form part of Syria’s history.

From:
Gadling

Destruction, Looting Of Syria’s Ancient Heritage Continues, Report Says
by Sean McLachlan (RSS feed) on Jun 6th 2012 at 10:00AM

The upheaval in Syria has been going on for more than a year now, and in that time thousands of people have been killed, including many civilians and children. Syria’s many ancient sites are also getting damaged. Previously, we’ve talked about how the Syrian army has shelled the ancient city of Palmyra and the Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers. Both of these are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, of which there are six in the country.

A report by the Global Heritage Fund states that these and many other sites and museums, are getting damaged and looted in the chaos. Sites like Tell Sheikh Hamad, pictured above in this Wikimedia Commons image. This Assyrian town was inhabited for several centuries and archaeologists have found numerous cuneiform inscriptions there. Recently it became a battleground between the Syrian army and deserters. An Assyrian temple reportedly collapsed when it got hit by shellfire and the rest of the site likely suffered serious damage as well.
Read the rest of this entry »

May 18, 2012

Turkey gets tough on disputed cultural treasures in foreign museums

Posted at 7:54 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Following the demise of Zahi Hawass’s restitution campaigns after the Arab Spring & the fall of Mubarak in Egypt, Turkey has recently made restitution requests for a large number of artefacts located in foreign museums around the world. Apparently, this is just the tip of the iceberg though – there are many more items on their list of requests than have been revealed so far.

Quite why they are aspiring to – or even using the term Encyclopaedic Museum (also known as a Universal Museum) is unclear though – as this is the justification regularly put forward for retention of the artefacts that they want returned by the museums that currently hold them, I’d have thought that they would be desperate to steer as far away from that term as possible.

From:
The Economist

Turkey’s cultural ambitions
Of marbles and men
Turkey gets tough with foreign museums and launches a new culture war
May 19th 2012

IN THE spring of 1887 a Lebanese villager named Mohammed Sherif discovered a well near Sidon that led to two underground chambers. These turned out to be a royal tomb containing 18 magnificent marble sarcophagi dating back to the fifth century BC. The Ottoman sultan, Abdul Hamid II, ordered the sarcophagi exhumed, placed on rails and carried down to the Mediterranean coast, where they were sent by ship to Istanbul. The largest sarcophagus was believed to contain the remains of Alexander the Great. The coffin is not Turkish and Sidon is now in Lebanon, but the sarcophagus is regarded as Istanbul’s grandest treasure, as important to the archaeology museum there as the “Mona Lisa” is to the Louvre.

The mildly Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, led by the Justice and Development (AK) party, likes to think of itself as the heir of the Ottoman sultans. The Turkish authorities have recently launched a wave of cultural expansionism, building new museums, repairing Ottoman remains, licensing fresh archaeological excavations and spending more on the arts. A grand museum in the capital, Ankara, is due to open in time for the centenary of the Turkish republic in 2023. “It will be the biggest museum in Turkey, one of the largest in Europe; an encyclopedic museum like the Metropolitan or the British Museum (BM),” boasts an aide to Ertugrul Gunay, the culture and tourism minister. “It’s his baby, his most precious project.”
Read the rest of this entry »

March 14, 2012

Rioting & looting – then and now

Posted at 2:08 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

When the UK was beset by episodes of riots & looting in August 2011, parliament was (quite rightly) quick to condemn the actions of a small minority. It seems though that many of our museums are filled with artefacts acquired through episodes of similar behaviour – the only difference being that it took place in the past & in foreign countries.

On a similar note, some in the UK were quick to sit back smugly during the looting of Egypt’s museums, noting that it was fortunate that the UK had so many of their antiquities to protect them from such episodes. One wonders though, during bouts of lawlessness in the UK, whether the same people support the idea of shipping British artefacts abroad to safer places… permanently… with little chance of ever getting them back – and little choice in the matter?

From:
Guardian

UK riots: When is a looter a heroic entrepreneur?
Edward Lawrence
guardian.co.uk, Friday 19 August 2011 10.00 BST

Parliament denounced the 21st century Britons who looted their own high street, but 18th century looters who plundered distant nations to build the British Empire became heroes

The scenes of widespread mayhem and looting that were the main news items of the last week were profoundly shocking, and for me personally, a cause of deep anxiety. Because of my disability I felt vulnerable, which isn’t a sensation I exactly relish. It isn’t as if since my severe brain injury I have had a surfeit of good experiences.
Read the rest of this entry »

February 2, 2012

Controversial keeper of Egypt’s antiquities looses his job

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

Zahi Hawass is a man who stirs up controversy wherever he goes, whether with his own goading of foreign governments to return disputed artefacts, or through the way that his blatant self publicising approach irritates others. He has done a lot to help Egypt’s archaeology in his time in the job, but at the same time has managed to annoy many people. It appears that this will no longer be the case however, as he has lost his job as the head of Egypt’s Supreme Archaeological Council.

(Yes – I know that this post is out of date – as are most others on the blog at the moment), but I wanted to keep it here so that the blog represents a relatively complete archive of events).

From:
Daily Telegraph

‘Real Indiana Jones’ sacked as keeper of Egypt’s heritage
He called himself the real Indiana Jones and keeper of Egypt’s heritage, and was an almost permanent presence on any television programme about the country’s colourful past.

But Zahi Hawass, the public face of the pyramids, has become the latest casualty of the revolution sweeping the Egyptian government after being sacked as minister of antiquities.

Dr Hawass was head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities for 10 years, and before that in charge of the Pyramids and Sphinx on the Giza plateau outside Cairo. He staged regular press conferences unveiling new discoveries from the time of the pharaohs.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 9, 2012

Zahi Hawass insists he has a future in Egyptian archaeology

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass – the person in charge of Egyptian archaeology, insists that he will stay in his job, despite the change of regime in the country.

From:
Guardian

Egypt’s man from the past who insists he has a future
Jack Shenker in Cairo
Thursday 19 May 2011 15.29 BST

Zahi Hawass, appointed by Hosni Mubarak to oversee Egypt’s cultural riches, is the great survivor of the revolution

No one interviews Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s self-styled Indiana Jones of the east – he interviews himself, fist pounding on desk and spittle flying forth into the ether.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 29, 2011

Missing objects returned to the Egyptian museum

Posted at 1:50 pm in Similar cases

Four more items looted from the Cairo museum earlier this year have now been returned.

From:
Zahi Hawass

Press Release – Four Objects Return to the Egyptian Museum

Four objects missing from the Egyptian Museum since the January Revolution have been returned, announced Dr. Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities.

The objects returned include the gilded wooden statue of Tutankhamun standing in a boat throwing a harpoon (JE 60710.1). The statue suffered slight damage; a small part of the crown is missing as well as pieces of the legs. The boat is still in the Museum, and the figure of the king will be reunited with it and restored.
Read the rest of this entry »