Showing results 25 - 36 of 98 for the tag: Books.

December 6, 2011

Scorpia Rising – a children’s novel about the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 2:02 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A new children’s novel by Anthony Horowitz revolves around a plot to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Unfortunately, it appears that those in favour of return are cast as the bad guys in this particular version of the story…

BBC News

Book Review: Alex Rider – Scorpia Rising
Last Updated: Wednesday June 08 2011 10:57 GMT

Anthony Horowitz

The story
This book is different from all the other Alex Rider books as it explains the villain’s plot right at the beginning, whereas most other Alex Rider books you have to work out what the villain is up to.

In this book, Scorpia are hired to return some statues called the Elgin Marbles in the British museum to Greece. To do this they plan to blackmail MI6 by showing the world that MI6 have been using a teenager to do all their work.
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February 2, 2011

Author N.J. Slabbert says that Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens to honour WW2 dead

Posted at 2:05 pm in Elgin Marbles

In a new book, The Sword Of Zeus: The Hidden Story Of How Greece Shaped World War II, author N. J. Slabbert argues that the Elgin Marbles ought to be returned to Athens, to honour the efforts made by Greece during the Second World War.

For further information about this release or to request an interview with author N.J. Slabbert, please e-mail Em at ; also visit .
February 1 2011

Writer N.J. Slabbert, creator of the Sword Of Zeus Project on Greece’s role in WWII, has urged Britain to return the Elgin Marbles to Athens without further delay to honor Greece’s World War II dead.

While the Marbles’ return on general ethical and cultural grounds has been supported by other public intellectuals including Nobel Prizewinning author Nadine Gordimer and journalist Christopher Hitchens, N.J. Slabbert says Greece’s critical role in WWII provides a very specific historical reason to return the Marbles now. He sets this position out in a forthcoming book, The Sword Of Zeus: The Hidden Story Of How Greece Shaped World War II.
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January 7, 2011

Is the British Museum a Universal Museum, or is this just a new argument against an old issue?

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

Neil MacGregor talks of grand encyclopaedic museums, as though this option somehow over-rules all other possibilities. The reality of course is that this is purely a self appointed role for the British Museum. There are no mentions of the terms Encyclopaedic Museum or Universal Museum (its now tarnished pre-cursor) before 2000 that relate to the concept as the British Museum now describes it. Surely if it was such an important aspect of the museum world, articles in the press would have mentioned it before then?

Looking back at the arguments, the Universal Museum ties in partly to Neil MacGregor’s arrival as director of the institution, but also with the beginning of construction work on the New Acropolis Museum. Could it be that they realised that one of their arguments was soon going to be obsolete, so they had to rapidly invent a new one to replace it with?


Book review: A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
Published Date: 27 November 2010
By Susan Mansfield

A History of the World in 100 Objects
BY Neil MacGregor
Allen Lane, 732 pp, £30

IF POINTS were awarded for sheer, unbridled ambition, Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, would surely come top of the class. It takes a certain bravado to dream up a 100-part radio series, telling the story of near two million years of world history, each episode pegged to an object which the listeners can’t even see.

Now the book of the series is published, a 700-page doorstop and a major achievement, particularly for a man who put it together while simultaneously running one of the world’s biggest museums. It is, on one level, a shameless plug for that museum, from whose collection all 100 objects come, though if MacGregor is blowing his own institution’s trumpet, he has some justification in doing so.
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December 12, 2010

The life & adventures of Hiram Bingham

Posted at 11:41 pm in Similar cases

Considering the press coverage that the dispute between Peru & Yale University over various Machu Picchu artefacts has recently received, its interesting that a new book has just come out about Hiram Bingham – the person who removed many of these desputed items int he first place.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Cradle of Gold – Christopher Heaney
(Review by Andrew Vasicek)

In his book, Heaney utilizes an easy, conversational style to tell an interesting and surprising tale of the life and adventures of Hiram Bingham. The reader is treated to Indiana Jones-like stories of the explorer’s travels throughout Peru and of the wonderful discoveries he made. Heaney’s use of original sources is at times inspired and always appropriate. The little tidbits about Bingham and his family are often poignant and truly create a feeling in the reader that one knows the man himself.

At the same time, the reader is shown the sometimes shady underbelly of the profession of archaeology (or perhaps just “exploring”) and its connections to the mistreatment of indigenous people, the illicit artifact trade, and much more. Sadly, these practices date back hundreds or thousands of years, perhaps as far back as humanity has existed in a form resembling that of today.
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December 8, 2010

Do recent artefact returns erode James Cuno’s idea of an Encyclopaedic Museum?

Posted at 2:10 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Jim O’Donnell has written an interesting review of James Cuno’s book on the so-called Encyclopaedic Museum.

As with many other readers of this book, he has come across gaping flaws in some of the arguments presented by Cuno.

Around The World in Eighty Years

Book Review: “Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage”
Posted on November 15, 2010

Last week, New York’s Metropolitan Museum announced that it will return 19 objects from King Tut’s tomb to Egypt – 19 small bits and fragments. The Met has been quick to toot its own horn, saying the return of these objects was voluntary and that they were under no legal obligation to do anything. But we’re not talking the Rosetta Stone here. Nor the famous Nefertiti bust held in Berlin. Nor the incredible Haremhad statue detained at the Met. Nineteen trinkets is nothing to crow about. Ahhh but the magnanimous purveyos of culture will crow.

Stolen objects that reside in the great museums of the world are nothing more than a monument to imperialism and the days of overt exploitation.
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Finders Keepers – a story of archaeological looting

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

Another review of Craig Child’s book about the looting of Archaeological sites.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Finders Keepers – Craig Childs
(Review by Andrew Vasicek)

As it turns out, the author’s title is unbelievably appropriate as it describes the essence of the entirety of the book – a personal reaction to the discovery of artifacts.

Childs sets out to describe the history behind humanity’s need to understand its past. He artfully crafts a story based in part on his own personal, and very diverse, travels about the globe. He tells of grand discoveries as often as simple broken pots. Childs successfully creates a sense that each item has a tale to tell and is valuable for that alone, if nothing else. He also notes the vast disparity between people of all walks of life in terms of how they interact with, and understand, the past as embodied in ruins and artifacts. Archaeologists, collectors, looters, and families all make their appearances; all lending their views on the issues and all are given due consideration by Childs.
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November 21, 2010

Museum Architecture – Bernard Tschumi’s New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 11:58 pm in New Acropolis Museum

A new book, from a series on the architecture of museums, looks at the design of the New Acropolis Museum which opened last year in Athens.

November 19, 2010

A history of the world in 100 objects

Posted at 2:01 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Neil MacGregor’s immense Radio 4 series on the History of the World in 100 Objects has now finished & the book is available. What is interesting about the series though is how easily people were able to create a mental picture of the artefacts in question through MacGregor’s descriptions. In many ways a series that one would have expected to be on television because of its heavily visual aspect, in fact worked equally well on radio.

This fact (that you not only didn’t need to be there – nor even see the artefacts) at the same time could arguably undermine the British Museum’s on many issues. The museum would rather casts of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece than return the real thing – yet at the same time, it is becoming clear that actually being there with the real version of the sculptures isn’t perhaps as necessary to their understanding as the museum wants it to be.

Daily Telegraph

A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor: review
By John Adamson
Published: 6:00AM BST 24 Oct 2010

The series A History of the World in 100 Objects shouldn’t have worked on radio but did, triumphantly. John Adamson wonders how Neil MacGregor’s world history will fare on the page

By most rational calculations, the original idea behind this enterprise was entirely mad. Attempting to write a history of the world, in any guise, is usually clear evidence of megalomania. Organising it, not as broad chapters on periods or themes, but as a series of 100 short essays about physical objects would seem to make the undertaking impossible from the outset. Deciding to deliver those essays through the one medium guaranteed to render the subjects of these essays wholly invisible – radio – would seem to move from the impossible to the perverse.
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November 15, 2010

A Tales of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession by Craig Childs

Posted at 2:12 pm in Similar cases

A new book by Craig Childs looks at looting of Archaeological sites – particularly Native American ones in the USA.

Salt Lake Tribune

Author digs for answers in Four Corners artifacts looting raid
By Ben Fulton
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Sep 25, 2010 07:54PM
Updated Sep 25, 2010 07:51PM

A flood of thoughts entered Craig Childs’ head long before he wrote page one of his new book about archaeological plunder and preservation.

Memories of hunting for rocks in the Four Corners area with his then-3-year-old son were foremost among them.
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November 14, 2010

Ghent’s “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” theft & reunification of the world’s most frequently looted artwork

Posted at 3:38 pm in Similar cases

The Ghent Altarpiece, also known as the “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” is a complex polyptych panel painting made up of twenty four separate scenes painted onto a number of panels. Since it was completed in 1432, at various times, many of the panels have been stolen or looted or lost by other means & at the same time, various attempts have been made to reunify all the surviving panels & where possible to replace the missing ones with copies. It has some odd parallels with the Parthenon Marbles, althogh the attempts to reunify it have been far more successful.

Basil and Spice

Book Review: Stealing The Mystic Lamb By Noah Charney
Oct 5, 2010
Reviewed By David M. Kinchen

‘Stealing the Mystic Lamb’: Strange World of Art Theft Revealed With Emphasis on the Most Frequently Stolen Artwork of All Time

Question: What Is the Most Frequently stolen artwork of all time?

Answer: Read Noah Charney’s “Stealing the Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World’s Most Coveted Masterpiece” (PublicAffairs, 336 pages, color and black and white photographs, notes and sources, bibliography, index, $27.95) to discover that truth is indeed stranger than fiction in the world of art theft and looting.
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November 8, 2010

New book looks at what happens behind the scenes at the British Museum

Posted at 2:06 pm in British Museum

A new book by a longstanding member of the British Museum’s staff promises to expose some of what happens behind the scenes at the museum. This may or may not be interesting – depending on your point of view & on what is actually revealed in the book.

Love Reading

Bone of Contention? Skeletons Abound as Author Opens British Museum Closet
29 Sep 2010

Norman Jacobs lifts the lid on one of London’s oldest historical institutions

A “fascinating and insightful” expose of the British Museum hits the shelves in November.

Behind the Colonnade lifts the lid on London’s oldest historical institution, and reveals the building’s “secrets, charms and colourful past”. The 216-page autobiography chronicles events of the last four decades, as witnessed by one of its longest-serving – and most trusted – employees. Author Norman Jacobs spent 37 years at the museum where he “watched, listened and recorded” life in its corridors. The father-of-two, 63, compiled his “notes and memories” and decided to pen Behind the Colonnade following his retirement in 2004 aged 57.
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November 5, 2010

A new book – about the stealing the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum

Posted at 2:14 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Stealing the Marbles is a new crime novel by Ej Knapp about a heist involving the theft of the Parthenon Sculptures.

More information is available on the author’s website.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that a crime novel has been written about this particular subject – Reg Gardney’s book; Strange Police, covered vary similar ground.