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Britain Archives • Elginism

Showing results 1 - 12 of 17 for the tag: Britain.

January 25, 2012

The looting of Egypt began a long time ago

Posted at 5:37 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As long as there have been tourists, there have been people taking souvenirs – nowadays, there are far more laws in place to cover this, but in the past, it was seen by some as perfectly acceptable to bring back cultural artefacts, or parts of buildings that you had seen, to prove to others that you had been there. The thing is, that when it happens now, people are shocked and horrified by the sight of the looting process taking place, but somehow manage to forget that similar (unseen) processes formed part of the acquisition of many other artefacts that we see as key to the collections of museums today.

From:
Register-Guard

DON KAHLE: Egypt’s loss of treasure began with early tourists
By Don Kahle
For The Register-Guard
Published: (Friday, Jun 3, 2011 12:28PM) Midnight, June 3

CAIRO — Any tourist traveling to Egypt should stop first at the British Museum in London. The museum contains many of Egypt’s most prized relics — and it also provides a primer on how tourism got off on the wrong foot.

The Brits’ version of our Smithsonian Museum starts with an exhibit about the Enlightenment ideals upon which this museum of antiquities was built. This signature exhibition elegantly summarizes how tourism’s roots led to a franchise of consumerism, objectification, bigotry and neocolonialist venturism.
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February 7, 2010

British Museum battles with Iran over Cyrus Cylinder

Posted at 5:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The British Museum’s arguments with Iran continue, as they try to justify their position in continually delaying the proposed reciprocal loan of the Cyrus Cylinder. What is more interesting is that the British Museum clings on to these artefacts proclaiming how important they are, but then it is not included on the list of the 100 most important artefacts in the Museum.

From:
The Guardian

British Museum in battle with Iran over ancient ‘charter of rights’
Tehran alleges time-wasting as curator trawls through thousands of cuneiform clay fragments for Cyrus the Great’s legacy
John Wilson – The Observer, Sunday 24 January 2010

The discovery of fragments of ancient cuneiform tablets – hidden in a British Museum storeroom since 1881 – has sparked a diplomatic row between the UK and Iran. In dispute is a proposed loan of the Cyrus cylinder, one of the most important objects in the museum’s collection, and regarded by some historians as the world’s first human rights charter.

The Iranian government has threatened to “sever all cultural relations” with Britain unless the artefact is sent to Tehran immediately. Museum director Neil MacGregor has been accused by an Iranian vice-president of “wasting time” and “making excuses” not to make the loan of the 2,500-year-old clay object, as was agreed last year.
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May 20, 2009

Ancient artefacts returned to Greece

Posted at 4:51 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage of the recent return of various looted artefacts from a number of sources to Greece. As with any restitution act involving Greece, parallels are immediately drawn with the case of the Parthenon Marbles.

From:
Associated Press

Fifth century BC objects returned to Greece
1 day ago

ATHENS (AFP) — Greece on Tuesday reclaimed scores of ancient objects dating to the fifth century BC that Belgian, British and German authorities returned, the culture ministry said.

The list includes over 100 clay fragments and coins held by the Belgian Archaeological School, 70 ancient funerary offerings seized by German customs officials in Nuremberg in 2007 and a marble decorative fragment from a Byzantine church donated by a British ceramist, the ministry said.
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May 19, 2009

Looted artefacts returned to Greece by Germany, UK & Belgium

Posted at 4:45 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Various looted artefacts seized by customs officials in Germany have now been returned to Greece, along with a fragment taken in the 1950s by a British tourist. This return of ancient fragments by the public is similar to another recent case in Rome involving a fragment of the Colosseum.

From:
Deutsche Presse Agentur

Greece recovers stolen antiquities from Germany, Belgium, Britain
Posted : Tue, 19 May 2009 13:59:53 GMT
Author : DPA
Category : Culture (General)

Athens – Germany, Belgium and Breitain have returned hundreds of priceless artifacts to Greece, the oldest a 5th century coin, Greek Culture Ministry officials said Tuesday. Among the items retuned from Germany included 96 copper and ceramic pots and vessels, dating from the 3rd or 4th century BC from Thessaly, in northern Greece.

Officials said the items were seized by customs authorities at Nuremberg, Germany in 2007 in a truck arriving from Greece.
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April 23, 2009

Looted treasures returned by Britain go on show

Posted at 12:46 pm in Similar cases

If stuff has been looted in recent times, it appears that it is imperative that it is returned to its rightful owners. Unfortunately, older cases are regularly brushed aside with the notion that we should accept their legitimacy (despite no clear reasons to do so). Where the situation warrants such measures, then any return of artefacts is to be welcomed. Consistency across all cases would be even better though.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Looted Afghan treasure to go on show
Afghan archaeological treasures thousands of years old are to go on display in Kabul after being rescued from smugglers passing through British airports.
By Ben Farmer in Kabul
Last Updated: 5:44PM BST 22 Apr 2009

More than 3,000 antiquities have been returned to Afghanistan after being confiscated by British customs officers and identified by the British Museum.

Situated at the crossroads of Asia and washed by centuries of trade, migration and invasion, Afghanistan has one of the richest archaeological heritages in the world.
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April 1, 2009

The Early Day Motion that wasn’t

Posted at 10:15 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Marbles Reunited

Following being the first website to cover Andrew George’s Early Day motion on the Stonehenge megaliths in Greece, it appears that the motion could not be tabled because it did not meet the requirement to have a “reasonable factual basis”.

The press release from Andrew George’s office explains this in more detail.

ANDREW GEORGE MP
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA

PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday 1st April 2009
For immediate release

COMMONS HAS SENSE OF HUMOUR BYPASS

Andrew George, MP for the West Cornwall and Isle of Scilly Constituency of St. Ives, has expressed disappointment that parliamentary rules disallowed his proposed Commons motion as tabled last night to be published this morning, Wednesday 1st April 2009. The motion read:
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Early Day Motion on the Stone Henge fragments in Greece

Posted at 12:17 am in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology

The recent discovery of what are thought to be some of the missing megaliths from Stone Henge has been covered extensively in the Greek media during the last week. The stones were found at a site (the location of which is being kept secret whilst a full archaeological study is being carried out) in the Peloponnese. It is thought that they were taken from Britain during Roman times, whilst Greece was also part of the Roman Empire.

What has caused particular controversy in the UK, is the Greeks current refusal to consider returning these stones which are believed to have been an integral part of Britain’s most important historic monument.

Andrew George MP has today tabled an Early Day Motion to gauge the opinions of other MPs on the issue. Previous posts on EDMs explain the purpose of Early Day Motions in the House of Commons.

From:
Parliamentary Information Management Web Site

The Return of the Stonehenge Megaliths from Greece

That this House is euphoric about the news of the discovery of many of the missing megaliths from Stonehenge in a remote and mountainous area of the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece to where they were taken to build an amphitheatre; considers this to be the single most important discovery in British archaeology for more than a century; yet is astounded at the brazen effrontery of the Greek authorities who have scandalously refused their return to Britain where they rightly belong; believes the Greeks have attempted to defend their decision with the kind of shameless and preposterous poppycock of an ancient colonial power; calls on the Greeks to put right the wrongs of their forefathers during that shameful period of ancient Greek imperial history; and asks HM Government on the day of the announcement of this find, April 1st 2009, to answer the extraordinary Greek claim that there is no difference between this and the holding by the British Museum of the Parthenon Marbles.

This follow-up article has more details.

March 6, 2009

Should Britain return the Koh-i-noor diamond?

Posted at 11:41 am in Similar cases

The Koh-i-noor diamond left India for Britain in 1850 as loot following a Sikh uprising. Since then there have been many calls for it to be returned.

From:
Times Blogs

March 03, 2009
Should Britain give the Koh-i-noor back to India?

It was reported yesterday that a descendant of Mahatma Gandhi has asked Britain to return the Koh-i-noor diamond to India, thereby adding it to a list of treasures which the UK is under pressure to restore to their original homes – most notably the Elgin Marbles. This also comes in a week when France has been asked to send back two bronzes from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent to Beijing, where they were originally looted from the Summer Palace.

The Koh-i-noor is an interesting case because it seems that almost from the moment it arrived in the UK there were doubts about its ownership. It was brought here in 1850 after the defeat of an uprising by the Sikhs in the Punjab, and was initially greeted as fair booty of war in this jingoistic leading article:
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February 9, 2009

James Cuno on where art treasures belong

Posted at 7:13 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

James Cuno may have other views as well as those on Encyclopaedic Museums – however, his views on that one subject seems to be his favourite topic at the moment, despite being widely discredited.

From:
Princeton University

James Cuno on “Where do the great treasures of ancient art belong?”
by James Cuno
Jan 27 2009

Two questions dominate our consideration of the fate of the world’s ancient heritage. The more vexing and urgent one — how can we prevent the looting of archaeological sites and the illicit trade in antiquities -– is not the topic of this article. The second one is.

“Where do the great treasures of ancient art belong? In Western museums or in countries where the civilizations that created them once flourished?”
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December 28, 2008

The return of Amenhotep III

Posted at 2:01 pm in Similar cases

Further coverage of Egypt’s success in securing the return of a looted artefact depicting the head of Amenhotep III.

From:
Al Ahram (Egypt)

25 – 31 December 2008
Issue No. 927
The return of Amenhotep III

EGYPTIAN archaeologists were in high spirits this week as a greywacke head of the 18th Dynasty King Amenhotep III was returned to Egypt after two decades of being shunted back and forth between Switzerland, Britain and the US, reports Nevine El-Aref.

The distinctive features, with full cheeks, wide, raised and slightly arched eyebrows above elongated but sharply edged narrow eyes, are a supreme example of the sculptural style that dominated King Amenhotep III’s reign. Originally part of a larger statue of Amenhotep III, the head is thought to have been made in the studios located within the Ptah Temple enclosure at Memphis, near the Saqqara necropolis.
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December 21, 2008

Britain will return Egyptian sculpture

Posted at 1:35 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the return of a sculpture of the head of Amenhotep III to Egypt from Britain.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008
Britain to return Egypt sculpture

An ancient sculpture of a pharaoh smuggled out of Egypt disguised as a tacky souvenir is to be returned home after almost 20 years.

Antiques restorer Jonathan Tokeley-Parry dipped the stone head of Amenhotep III in plastic and painted it black to make it resemble a cheap copy.
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December 20, 2008

Head of Amenhotep III returns to Egypt

Posted at 2:04 pm in Similar cases

A sculpture smuggled out of Egypt eighteen years ago by Jonathan Tokeley-Parry has been returned. What the article is unclear about, is why it took from 1999 (when it was recovered by police) until now for it to be returned.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Smuggled ancient sculpture returns to Egypt
A priceless sculpture which was expertly smuggled out of Egypt disguised as a cheap souvenir of itself is to be returned home.
By Sarah Knapton
Last Updated: 3:11PM GMT 19 Dec 2008

The Head of Amenhotep III, a pharaoh who died in 1375BC, was stolen 18 years ago by a British smuggler.

Jonathan Tokeley-Parry disguised the stone head as a souvenir, coating it in plastic and painting it black to make it appear to be a tacky copy of a historical artefact.
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