Showing results 541 - 552 of 670 for the tag: Cultural Property.

July 27, 2009

Former Metropolitan Museum director talks about restitution of artefacts

Posted at 12:46 pm in Similar cases

Former Met director Philippe de Montebello has given a talk in which he speaks about the issues of restitution affecting museums. Based on previous comments, it is unsurprising that he is against the idea of restitution. What is puzzling is that even after the return of the Euphronios Krater from his own museum he still doesn’t seem to understand the problem – he sees it as something that should only ever be dealt with when legal reasons dictate that an artefacts should be returned & never for a philosophical / ethical reason. This skips neatly over the fact of why many of the laws allowing return are what they are, whereas legal action should be the last resort after other more amicable negotiation methods fail. He also introduces an odd idea of entitlement – that people should be able to see artefacts in locations other than their original locations (e.g. New York), but with little explanation of why this should be the case or who decides this.

From:
Bangor Daily News

7/25/09
Former Met director talks at Strand
By Jessica Bloch – BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Philippe de Montebello is considered one of the most powerful men in the world of art. Yet de Montebello, who recently retired after 31 years as the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, joked Thursday evening that he grew to dread the renowned art experts who worked under him.

“I have the utmost respect, and fear, of curators,” said de Montebello, who participated in a question-and-answer session at the Strand Theatre with Roger Dell, the Farnsworth Art Museum’s director of education, as part of the museum’s Farnsworth Forum series.
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July 22, 2009

Aboriginal artefacts not covered by the Human Tissue Act up for discussion

Posted at 1:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

There have been many cases in recent years where museums in the UK have returned Aboriginal artefacts that consist of (or incorporate) human remains. New negotiations involving bark etchings however are interesting, as there is no clear indication from the article that there is any connection with human remains. Technically this would mean that the British Museum was legally forbidden from returning them, although there is the possibility of some form of loan, as was used with the Kwakwaka’wakw mask returned to Canadian first Nations people.

From:
Melbourne Sun Herald

British Museum may hand back Aboriginal artifacts
AAP
July 22, 2009 12:21pm

THE British Museum has begun talks with Victorian Aboriginals about the possible return of rare bark etchings believed to be more than 150 years old.
The three etchings, estimated to be worth more than $1 million, have been held in London for many years after their collection by Victorian landowner John Hunter Kerr near Lake Boort in the 1850s.

When they were lent to Museum Victoria along with a ceremonial headdress for a temporary display in 2004, members of the Dja Dja Wurrung tribe dramatically seized hold of them and demanded they be returned to the Boort area.
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July 21, 2009

Neil MacGregor’s claims that the Elgin Marbles will not return

Posted at 12:59 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

For some reason, it appears that Neil MacGregor is now guaranteed positive coverage whenever he writes a piece for, or is interview by The Times. It seems that whatever claims he makes regarding his reasons for retention of the Parthenon Sculptures are accepted with little question or analysis.

The problem in many cases is that whilst what the British Museum is saying may be construed as a valid approach to take, it is represented as being the only valid approach, without considering the range of other possibilities or the views & sensibilities of others.

The Elgin Marbles or the Rosetta Stone may well have changed history – but there is no clear evidence that this was only the case because of the fact that they were in the British Museum.

Following the initial article are two more articles also on the British Museum, followed by a response by Kwame Opoku.

From:
The Times

July 18, 2009
Neil MacGregor lifts British Museum’s ambition to new heights
Tristram Hunt: Commentary

This is why the Elgin Marbles are not going back. With characteristic panache, Neil MacGregor is once again making the case for the British Museum as a museum of all mankind. In 100 episodes based around 100 objects from the Bloomsbury collection, Mr MacGregor aims to cement the British Museum’s Enlightenment credentials. And he’s doing so with some ambitious inter-disciplinary thinking.

To tell a story of the world in 15 minutes through a series of objects requires a sure grasp of cultural and social anthropology. Mr MacGregor, whose most celebrated exhibition during his tenure at the National Gallery was the Seeing Salvation display of Renaissance iconography, has long understood the allure of artefacts. Indeed, he is sometimes accused of seeking to blur — in an increasingly agnostic age — the boundaries between the secular and the religious by investing the British Museum’s objects with an almost spiritual significance. But in going beyond the obviously material, in explaining the broader cultural and social currency of the collection, he will give the story of these objects a relevance far in excess of their historic context.
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Looted Iraqi artefacts continue to appear on the international art market

Posted at 12:44 pm in Similar cases

Looting of artefacts is not a recent phenomenon – but despite every more stringent international laws, it continues to be a problem – leading to potential new disputes between countries in the future that no one yet knows about.

From:
PR Newswire

Looting Matters: Why Do Antiquities From Iraq Continue to Surface on the Market?
SWANSEA, Wales, July 17 /PRNewswire/

David Gill, archaeologist, considers how antiquities derived from Iraq continue to appear on the antiquities market.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq led to the loss of some 15,000 items from the archaeological collections in Baghdad. This alerted the international community to the scale of the problem and as a result some 6000 objects have been handed over to Iraqi authorities. These have been seized in a range of countries across the Middle East as well as in Europe.
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What’s in a name? Who owns the Rosetta Stone

Posted at 12:39 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

In a case that only tenuously relates to restitution claims, a software manufacturer is involved in legal action with Google over the fact that other companies may be taking out adverts that are set to appear when the name of their business is entered in a search. What makes this semi-relevant though is that the name of the company is Rosetta Stone – so one would have thought that at present any actual ownership claimed on the name might belong to the British Museum. Of course though this is not the end of the cycle either – Egypt disputes the British Museum’s ownership of the stone & as such would have the rights to the name of the stone.

The question that this raises, is what gives others the right to re-appropriate a term & call it their own, to the extent of trying to prevent others from using it – a situation not dis-similar from the British Museum’s current claims that artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone are now integral to their own collections & therefore can not be returned to their true owners.

From:
Telecom TV

Google v. Rosetta Stone: the case of the stolen words
Posted By TelecomTV One , 17 July 2009

What’s in a word? Often a lot of money for a start. And where there’s money there’s lawyers. And where there’s lawyers there is, sometimes, a measure of clarity. By Ian Scales.

At least the issues get a good outing. The Google v. Rosetta Stone case is currently raging in the US courts and it’s about when and to what extent a word could or should be controlled by those who claim it as a trademark.
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July 20, 2009

Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition leads to controversy over ownership

Posted at 12:54 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the controversy surrounding the exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Royal Ontario Museum.

From:
Forward – The Jewish Daily

Furor Over Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition
By Michael Kaminer
Published July 15, 2009, issue of July 24, 2009.

Toronto — Crowds at the Royal Ontario Museum’s heavily hyped Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition — Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World, which runs until January 3, 2010 — have far exceeded the museum’s own expectations. In the show’s first nine days, more than 18,000 people flocked to the museum’s spectacular new Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal pavilion — about 52% above the exhibitors’ own projections.

But hosannas for the showing, featuring four scroll fragments on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and displayed in public for the first time, have not been universal. Last April, the Palestinian Authority appealed to Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, to cancel the show, citing international conventions that make it illegal for a government agency to take archaeological artifacts from a territory that its country occupies.
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July 19, 2009

The Black Parthenon – an art instalation about cultural property restitution

Posted at 6:41 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

An art installation in Melbourne aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum, along with other repatriation cases around the world.

From:
GRReporter

Black Parthenon magic
14 July 2009 :: 11:28:19

A mourning installation appeared in Melbourne in the beginning of July, called “The Black Parthenon.” With the help of a black canvas in chiaroscuro lighting and quirked in a way, which resembles the original Athenian Acropolis, the Greek origin artist Konstantinos Dimopoulos expressed his support for the return of the Parthenon marbles back to Athens.

During the day the black tone installation looks like a funeral alter, which symbolizes the feeling of loss. The author dedicates it to all countries, who have become a subject of cultural-historic heritage theft. During the night, the installation is lid in bright blue and white tones, which make the Black Parthenon stand out and its silhouette reminds of the real Acropolis.
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July 14, 2009

Cultural property that Britain would like returned

Posted at 1:13 pm in Similar cases

Britain’s aggressive anti-restitution stance in many cultural property cases is in part down to the fact that Britain has few claims on its own culture abroad – for the UK it is largely a one way issue.

There are however cases (which aren’t necessarily disputed) where items which connect with British cultural identity are located abroad – a situation that many believe is detrimental. No cultural property case is the same as another – but there are always similarities – most clearly seen in the fact that the original owners see themselves as having a connection with the item that the new owners do not possess.

Understanding of such cases by the country they affect ought to encourage reflection on other cases where they sit on the opposite side of the argument – unfortunately this rarely seems to be the case.

From:
New & Star (Carlisle)

Get back catalogue
Last updated 14:13, Monday, 13 July 2009

Among the reams of coverage surrounding Michael Jackson’s death, no-one seemed to notice the striking parallel with the Elgin Marbles.

In 1812 Lord Elgin removed the marble statues from the Parthenon, the ancient temple above Athens, and shipped them to Britain. He sold them to the Government who installed them in the British Museum in London.
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Controversy over the Dead Sea Scrolls

Posted at 1:01 pm in Similar cases

The Dead Sea Scrolls are on display in the Royal Ontario Museum – this is not without controversy though, as Palestinian Groups claim state that these artefacts come from the occupied territories.

In many ways, this is a case that could be solved easily – the issue is that the true reasons behind various aspects of the recent history of the scrolls are not ignored – but the museum is ignoring these problems for fear of upsetting other people (by stating the truth rater than ignoring it).

From:
Independent

Robert Fisk’s World: You won’t find any lessons in unity in the Dead Sea Scrolls
I looked at the texts in Toronto – a tale that was bound to pose a series of questions

Saturday, 11 July 2009

At last, I have seen the Dead Sea Scrolls. There they were, under their protective, cool-heated screens, the very words penned on to leather and papyrus 2,000 years ago, the world’s most significant record of the Old Testament.

I guess you’ve got to see it to believe it. I can’t read Hebrew – let alone ancient Hebrew (or Greek or Aramaic, the other languages of the scrolls) – but some of the letters are familiar to me from Arabic. The “seen” (s) of Arabic, and the “meem” (m) are almost the same as Hebrew and there they were, set down by some ancient who knew, as we do, only the past and nothing of the future. Most of the texts are in the Bible; several are not. “May God most high bless you, may he show you his face and may he open for you,” it is written on the parchments. “For he will honour the pious upon the throne of an eternal kingdom.”
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July 11, 2009

Why India should support the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 11:44 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The Elgin Marbles & what their return would represent is something that has implications for many people – not just Greeks, archaeologists & museum curators. Around the world are numerous restitution cases, each different in its own way, but each having a significance for the people involved. During the last year for instance, publicity has been generated by various artefacts from India that people would like returned (or even just an acknowledgement of the real ownership.

From:
Livemint

Why India should root for the return of the Elgin marbles
Manidipa Mandal – Thursday, July 09, 2009 1:25 PM

“Both sides stand on shaky ground,” prevaricates NYT critic Michael Kimmelman, in today’s Business of Life lead story.

The Greeks, never in fear of racial stereotyping, have been emphatic in their demands. (What’s to worry about? Everyone just knows they are the guys with the big weddings, the voluble chatter, the long community lunches, dinners and and dances, the quick and loud tempers a la Hollywood cabbies — and all that surprisingly, uncharacteristically subtle and contemplative, ancient art and literature, as well as balanced modern views on them.)
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July 10, 2009

Making a grand gresture by returning the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 1:06 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

The British may have purchased the Elgin Marbles legally – they existence in the British Museum remains however a relic of an imperial age that the world has since moved on from. Now is the time for the British Museum to once more lead the museum world by showing that restitution of artefacts can be a win/win situation for the institutions involved.

From:
Boston Globe

Imperialism loses its marbles
July 9, 2009

THE GREAT museums of the world are filled with artworks that have been plundered from somewhere else, sometimes after being stolen several times over. There is no chance that all the kidnapped statues and paintings in those secular temples of culture will be returned to their original homes. Nevertheless, the British Museum would be making a gesture of respect to Greece, the wellspring of Western culture, if it returned the statuary that came from the Acropolis in Athens and is now known as the Elgin marbles.

The opening last month of a much-lauded museum in Athens, situated within view of the Parthenon, has revived an old quarrel over where those figures belong that were torn from the frieze and pediment of the ancient temple to Athena. Lord Elgin was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire when he began removing the statues in 1801, with the consent of Ottoman authorities. From a Greek perspective, the official of a foreign empire with no title to those monuments had pilfered them with the permission of another imperial power that had no right to give them away.
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July 2, 2009

The best location for the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 4:05 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The Parthenon Marbles have been displayed in London for nearly two hundred years & many people have benefited from them being there during that time. Now though, it is time for the British Museum to re-asses the situation & consider whether they would be better displayed in Greece.

From:
New York Times

Majestic in Exile
By NIKOS KONSTANDARAS
Published: June 18, 2009

As a Greek, I have to visit the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum whenever I am in London.

I understand the strong feelings of my compatriots who want to see these unsurpassed sculptures returned home, ending the wrong done by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, two centuries ago. I feel the sense of dislocation — the incongruity — of the brilliance of Classical Athens at its peak trapped in a dull northern light, carried off by a foreign aristocrat and sold at a time when Greece itself was enslaved and its people unable to prevent the looting of their treasures.
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