Showing results 13 - 24 of 37 for the tag: Auctions.

March 5, 2013

Restitution debates become ever more divisive

Posted at 9:28 am in Similar cases

As the modern globalised world becomes more closely connected, it is in some ways easier than ever, to become a collector of rare & ancient artefacts & amass a sizable collection fairly rapidly. Paradoxically though, it is at the same time becoming harder too, as purchases are subject to ever closer scrutiny.

From:
Financial Times

September 13, 2012 12:13 am
Home isn’t always where the art is
By Peter Aspden

As the drive to reclaim national treasures gathers pace, the restitution debate is growing ever more divisive

It is one of the art world’s greatest paradoxes: while the market for cultural treasures becomes more and more globalised, the clamour for those works to be repatriated to their country of origin becomes ever louder. In theory it has never been easier for museums, dealers and collectors to become international players on the art scene; in truth, it is getting more difficult by the day.

The claims for the restitution of works of art that are said to have been plundered from their native land grow apace. The case of the 10th-century Cambodian statue that was put up for auction last year by Sotheby’s, only to be blocked by a last-minute legal bid for repatriation, is only one recent example.
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February 25, 2013

Do the Londoners upset about the missing Banksy consider how Greece feels about the Parthenon Marbles?

Posted at 2:14 pm in Similar cases

The story of the Banksy artwork that disappeared from a wall in London has reached some sort of conclusion, with the news that the auction is no cancelled. It is great to see people getting so enthusiastic about preserving local artwork, but do the people whose protests stopped this auction ever consider how the original owners of many of the disputed artefacts in Britain’s museums feel?

If we consider the circumstances, the missing Banksy is a very weak case – there is nothng to indicate that it was not the owner of the wall who was selling it. Or that he had a right to do whatever he wanted to with this wall.

In term of the artwork, it could be argued that it was site specific – but only to the extent that Banksy had chosen that wall for it. realistically, it could have been applied equally well in many other locations. Furthermore, consider the duration that the artwork existed in this location for – only a matter of months. If this is contrasted to the Parthenon Marbles, they were located in-situ for over two millenia, and were designed specifically with that location in mind – to the extent that they formed an integral part of the building that they were on – they could not be removed without destroying parts of the building.

Stopping this auction & enriching the streets of the borough of Haringey might be a good cause – but the people supporting it really ought to think about the many far more important cases that Britain’s museums try & brush off as unimportant.

Interestingly, a new artwork has already appeared on the wall that the Banksy has been removed from – so restoring it is not possible without destroying another piece of art…

From:
Guardian

Banksy mural: I’m being scapegoated, says Miami art dealer
Richard Luscombe in Miami
Friday 22 February 2013 15.47 GMT

The owner of a Florida art house handling the controversial auction of a Banksy mural prised from a north London wall has spoken out to claim he is being unfairly scapegoated, and insists the sale is legal and will take place.

Slave Labour, a spray painting depicting a barefooted boy making Union Jack bunting in a sewing machine, by the celebrated street artist Banksy, was removed from the wall of a Poundland shop in north London last week under mysterious circumstances. As local authorities, residents and the shop’s owner have denied all knowledge, protests from UK authorities have turned to the Miami auctioneer.
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February 20, 2013

More on the “stolen” Banksy artwork

Posted at 2:03 pm in Similar cases

Reading the original article closely, it appears that the Poundland store does not own the building from which the Banksy artwork was removed last week. On this basis, although many have complained about its removal, none of the complainants has been the actual owner of the wall – which suggests that the whole removal was probably arranged legitimately.

The auction page selling the artwork can be viewed here.

From:
Guardian

Banksy mural torn off London Poundland store for Miami auction

Haroon Siddique
Monday 18 February 2013 12.54 GMT

A Banksy mural has been put up for auction on a US website with a guide price of up to £450,000 after being removed from a building in north London.

The artwork of a barefoot boy using a sewing machine to stitch union flag bunting, apparently in a sweatshop, appeared on the outside wall of a Poundland shop in Wood Green in May. It was widely interpreted as condemning child labour and mocking the impending Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations.
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January 16, 2013

Watercolours from Elgin’s artist go on sale

Posted at 2:11 pm in Elgin Marbles

Two paintings by Giovanni Battista Lusieri are going on sale. These paintings were displayed in Scotland last year in an exhibition of the artist’s work. Lusieri wass famous for being the artist employed by Lord Elgin to document the Parthenon Sculptures & their removal. None of those paintings survive, ass they were all destroyed when the ship carrying them was wrecked, but seeing the two pictured in this article, gives an idea of the level of detail & quality that they may have contained.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Rare watercolours by Giovanni Battista Lusieri for sale
By Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online
7:10AM GMT 15 Jan 2013

Rare watercolours by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri, the man famous for his removal of marbles from the Parthenon for Lord Elgin, go on sale in New York after Scottish National Gallery show.

Two significant watercolours by Italian painter Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1754–1821), a man renowned for his involvement in the removal and shipping of the Elgin Marbles to England, are to go on sale in New York.
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December 17, 2012

Artefacts on loan to museum of British Empire sold at auction without consent of owners

Posted at 2:12 pm in Similar cases

While this story is not really that relevant to the subject in hand, it does appear that a museum is acting like a microcosm of the subject it is supposed to be educating people about.

On the one hand, you have Britain (in the days of the British Empire), regularly taking items from other countries that were under its control, on the basis that these items were taken on loan to be studied, yet when the original owners asked for them back, the return was rarely forthcoming & they discovered that the items were now held in some grand museum & could no longer legally be returned.

Contrast this with a museum set up to tell the story of the days of Britain’s empire (looking at it from a present day perspective), that borrowed various items on loan from individuals – yet when the original owners asked for the items back after the museum had closed, they discovered that their property had been lost or sold at auction.

History repeats itself, for as long as public institutions do not have proper procedures in place that give equal weighting to the acquisition & the deaccessioning of items in their collections.

From:
Guardian

Row erupts over British empire museum’s ‘lost’ artefacts
144 items loaned to British Empire and Commonwealth Museum believed to be missing, with some sold without owners’ consen
Steven Morris
The Guardian, Monday 10 December 2012

Almost 150 artefacts lent to a museum set up to tell the story of Britain’s colonial past may be missing, it has emerged, with some of them having been sold without their owners’ permission.

Trustees of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, which has now closed, are in talks with about six of the owners about compensation.
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October 8, 2012

Your chance to buy a (fairly convincing) copy of the Parthenon Frieze

Posted at 1:10 pm in Elgin Marbles

Christies is auctioning plaster casts of various panels from the Parthenon Frieze. From the information given, it is unclear whether these are a first generation cast (or more probably a second or third generation cast) of the originals.

You can view more details on page 79 of the e-catalog for the auction (linked to from this page). There are also copies of some sculptures from the Acropolis that I noticed in the catalogue.

From:
Country Life

Take a piece of the Parthenon home
Friday, 5 October 2012
Kate Green

Christie’s is selling more than 350 items from James Perkins’ collection at Aynhoe Park, including a piece from the Parthenon in Athens

Eclectic artefacts amassed on ‘a modern grand tour’ will be sold at Christie’s South Kensington on October 9, when James Perkins, owner of Aynhoe Park, sells more than 350 items to make room for more pieces in his constantly evolving collection. There’s everything from an armadillo-shell helmet (estimated at £600-£900) to a stuffed walrus head, plus furniture and photography, but pride of sale is the magnificent Classical plaster sculpture.
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March 29, 2012

Dorotheum attempts second auction of African artefacts – is provenance any better this time?

Posted at 8:24 am in Similar cases

Viennese Auction House, Dorotheum, last year auctioned an assortment of African artefacts, but questions were raised about the unclear provenance of many of the items.

Another auction is planned this year, but will the provenance of the items be any clearer than at the previous one?

From Kwame Opoku via email.

ANOTHER AUCTION OF AFRICAN ARTEFACTS BY VIENNA AUCTION HOUSE, DOROTHEUM: BETTER PROVENANCES?

Dorotheum, the Viennese auction house, is holding another auction of African artefacts on 2 April, 2012. Readers may recall that in an article entitled Auction of Arican Art by Dorotheum, Vienna. But what are the Provenances of the Artefacts? reference was made to the absence of proper and adequate provenance for most of the artefacts which were part of the African collection of the late Prof. Rudolph Leopold, founder of the Leopold Museum. Museum of Modern Art, Vienna.

The artefacts in this second auction raise the same problems as the first. The provenance given is often extremely vague e.g. from the “collection of a German missionary”, “Belgian collection,” “Austrian collection”, “private South African collection,” etc. This imprecision does not facilitate the determination of the mode of acquisition of the artefacts and their legitimacy. Nor do we have any precise dates. Thus we cannot follow the history of the ownership of the object.
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March 21, 2012

Sacred Aboriginal totem returns to Australia following cancelled auction

Posted at 9:04 am in Similar cases

Following the cancelled auction of a Tjuringa stone in Kent, the current owner hopes to be able to hand it back to the Arunta Aboriginals in Australia.

From:
Independent

Row over sale of sacred Aboriginal stone
Rob Sharp
2011-10-28 00:00:01.0

A cultural conflict between Britain and Australia sparked by the attempted sale of a sacred Aboriginal artefact in Kent looks set to be reignited.

The etched stone “tjuringa”, which only Aboriginal male elders are permitted to handle, was withdrawn from sale after provoking international demands for its return to Australia. But its elderly seller is said to be still considering the future of the priceless item.
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March 19, 2012

Sale of sacred Australian Aboriginal artefact cancelled

Posted at 2:06 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the cancellation of the auction of the Aboriginal Tjuringa stone.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Auction of sacred Aboriginal stone cancelled
By Bonnie Malkin, Sydney
12:00PM BST 07 Sep 2011

An English auction house has cancelled the sale of a rare and deeply sacred Aboriginal stone after outcry in Australia.

The delicately etched “Tjuringa” stone, which according to tradition must never be seen by women, was expected to fetch £6000 at a sale organised by Canterbury Auction Galleries.
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UK auction house cancels sale of sacred Australian Aboriginal Tjuringa stone

Posted at 1:53 pm in Similar cases

Canterbury Auction Galleries in Kent planned on selling a sacred Aboriginal artefact known as the Tjuringa stone. The sale has now been cancelled following pressure from Australian Museums & the Australian High Commission in London.

From:
ABC (Australia)

Sacred stone withdrawn from UK auction
Tanya Nolan reported this story on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 12:50:00

ELEANOR HALL: Now to that victory for Indigenous Australians.

A British auction house has withdrawn a sacred Aboriginal artefact from sale after high level intervention by Australian museums and the Australian High Commission in London.

The Tjuringa stone, which is believed to belong to Arrernte people of Central Australia, was being sold by a woman from Kent who says she was given it as a gift when she lived in Sydney more than 50 years ago.
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December 6, 2011

Austrian auction house plans to sell African art despite unclear provenance

Posted at 1:56 pm in Similar cases

The Auction House, Dorotheum in Vienna is planning a sale of Austrian artefacts, despite the fact that the provenance of some of the artefacts seems unclear.

From:
Modern Ghana

AUCTION OF AFRICAN ART BY DOROTHEUM, VIENNA: BUT WHAT ARE THE PROVENANCES OF THE ARTEFACTS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Tue, 03 May 2011

Dorotheum, an auction house in Vienna, Austria has announced for 3 May, 2011, an auction of African art objects from the collection of the late Prof. Dr.Ludwig Leopold (1925-2010), founder of the Leopold Museum in Vienna.(1)

The announcement refers to”Tribal Art of Africa, objects from the unknown Collection of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Leopold”. Indeed, very few persons were aware that Dr. Leopold, collected African artworks. The Leopold Museum and Rudolf Leopold are well-known for their collections of modern European art, especially, the Vienna avant-garde – Gustave Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. However the names of Dr. Leopold and his museum have been recently largely associated in the minds of many with the various attempts to deny to successors of those persons whose artworks were looted by the Nazis or were forced to sell them at ridiculous prices. The museum did not willingly return artworks in its collections with Nazi tainted history and legal battles had to be fought before such cases could be settled. (2) Leopold and his museum did not give in easily to claims for restitution of Nazi-looted art objects.
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October 26, 2011

The easy availability of looted Afghan artefacts

Posted at 1:00 pm in Similar cases

Looting of historic artefacts is just as much of a problem in the present day as it was in the past. Many of the people / organisations along the supply chain are unwilling to perhaps apply the controls & regulation that are required.

From:
Dawn.com

Cultural plunder
21 Feb 2011
By Peter Thonemann

ARE you keen to help finance the activities of warlords and insurgents across Afghanistan?

As I write, eBay is inviting bids on no fewer than 128 ancient Bactrian and Indo-Greek silver and bronze coins, from sellers in Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
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