Showing results 541 - 552 of 656 for the tag: Cultural Property.

June 16, 2009

The Big Question – Episode 22

Posted at 12:23 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events, New Acropolis Museum

BBC1′s current affairs programme; The Big Question will be discussing the ethical debate surrounding the return of disputed artefacts in next Sunday’s episode (tying in with the opening of the New Acropolis Museum the previous day).

More details about the programe can be found on the BBC’s website.

June 11, 2009

Afghan retrieves it’s looted past

Posted at 8:33 pm in Similar cases

After years of internal conflict, Afghanistan has lost many of the records of its past to opportunistic looters. Efforts are being made however to catalogue & retrieve the artefacts for future generations to enjoy.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 18:25 UK
Looted treasures return to Afghanistan
By Sarah Rainsford
BBC News, Kabul

In a small room inside Kabul museum, staff are slowly unwrapping hundreds of stolen pieces of Afghanistan’s past.

Worth a fortune on the black market, the smugglers’ hoard was spotted and seized by customs officers at Heathrow airport in London.
Read the rest of this entry »

June 7, 2009

The looting of Iraq

Posted at 9:18 pm in Similar cases

The looting of the Iraq Museum was anticipated by many – yet the people who were in charge of the country seemed wholly unprepared for dealing with the situation.

From:
The National (Abu Dhabi)

Were there that many vases?
Last Updated: June 04. 2009 11:37AM UAE / June 4. 2009 7:37AM GMT

The remarkable fact about the looting of the Iraq Museum, Hugh Eakin writes, is not how little it was anticipated – but how much it was forewarned.

The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum
Lawrence Rothfield
University of Chicago Press
Dh105

In February, 2003, about a month before the invasion of Iraq, a former American diplomat quietly flew to Baghdad to meet with Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein’s deputy prime minister. A Middle East hand who served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, William R Polk was on an improbable mission: he was hoping to persuade the Baathist regime to remove the unparalleled collections of Baghdad’s Iraq Museum to Jordan for safekeeping. This was no mere whim. The heads of the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Oriental Institute of Chicago and the American Museum of Natural History in New York were to co-sponsor the project; the Jordanians told Polk they were prepared to give the green light, pending Baghdad’s consent. The well-connected Polk had even secured private funding to cover the cost of packing and shipping the collection to Amman. With a US invasion now almost certain, however, the Iraqis had other things to worry about. The plan went nowhere.
Read the rest of this entry »

May 29, 2009

How to preserve the worlds museums

Posted at 7:18 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Spiked has predictably written a favourable review of James Cuno’s latest work on why ancient artefacts are best retained by the museums that currently hold them whether or not they were acquired by them legitimately.

From:
Spiked

How to preserve the future of museums
Whose Culture? – a collection of essays defending the vital importance of museums – is a welcome challenge to repatriation policies underpinned by identity politics.
by Tiffany Jenkins

There is a thirteenth century ivory casket on show at the Art Institute of Chicago. The box was made from an elephant’s tusk, probably found in southern Africa and then brought to Sicily, Italy, by Muslim traders from the Swahili coast. It was once used as a Christian reliquary and it bears an inscription in Arabic. Visitors to the Art Institute can also view the fourteenth-century German monstrance made of gilt silver around a translucent vessel. The holder for this relic was a perfume bottle made in Fatimid Egypt.

The ivory casket and the monstrance are just two of many works at the Art Institute which reflect connections between cultures. Artefacts are created through interactions between people, through exchanges of ideas and materials. Questions around who ‘owns’ such objects, where they should be and what meanings we draw from them are at the heart of a debate currently raging amongst archaeologists, museum professionals, nation states and various claimant groups. Now, the once beleaguered side of the debate is finally standing up, arguing loudly that museums are, in fact, good places to keep artefacts and art work and that sending objects back to their assumed countries of origin – which has been the dominant view until now – is not always a good idea.
Read the rest of this entry »

May 23, 2009

New Acropolis Museum will re-open the Elgin Marbles case

Posted at 5:26 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

From the inception of its concept, the New Acropolis Museum was designed with the principal aim of providing the best possible home for the Parthenon Sculptures. As such it will present the most persuasive argument yet that it gives the best context for the display of the fragments currently held in the British Museum.

Because of the importance of the contextual argument, it is not possible to replicate the New Acropolis Museum somewhere else – even if the British wanted to, they could never create a space for the display of the Elgin Marbles that would equal the one in Athens.

From:
The Independent

Elgin Marbles question renewed as Athens museum opens
By Frank Partridge
Saturday, 23 May 2009

The long-overdue New Acropolis Museum is now scheduled to open in Athens on 20 June. However, the impact will be felt most acutely in Bloomsbury, central London, as one of Britain’s longest-running international disputes takes a potentially decisive turn.

Athens’ share of the marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon temple on Acropolis hill, the crowning achievement of classical Greece, now have a permanent home 300 metres below the original site. The glassy, angular new museum is daring and eye-catching in itself, but it’s the contents of the third and top floor – and the way they’re arranged – that will make the world sit up and take notice.
Read the rest of this entry »

May 20, 2009

Speaking against restitution

Posted at 4:57 pm in Similar cases

Whilst the tide is clearly turning in favour of restitution of ancient artefacts to their original owners, there are still many people going against the flow. Unsurprisingly many of those opposing the current trend also happen to be museum curators.

From:
Calgary Herald

A museum director fights back
The best place for ‘looted’ artifacts? Right where they are
By Robert Fulford, National PostApril 18, 2009

Ideology, politics and bone-headed provincialism come together comfortably when they make war on the world’s great museums.

The issue is cultural property. Countries believing that colonialists stole their spiritual heritage are uniting in a send-back-our-stuff campaign. They envision populations and art objects moving in opposite directions: While citizens try to emigrate to Europe and North America for better lives, art objects should travel the other way, delivering national identity and self-esteem through ancient artifacts.
Read the rest of this entry »

May 12, 2009

The problems of comparing looted artefact disputes with child custody cases

Posted at 12:48 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku responds to some of the disingenuous analogies that try to draw parallels to other issues.

From:
Afrikanet

Datum: 12.05.09 09:29
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Comparing disputes about looted artefacts with child custody cases

I find the proposal to apply principles developed in child custody cases to disputes regarding the ownership of looted artefacts, very interesting but also problematic and, in the end, not feasible. (1)

To compare cultural artefacts with children under any circumstances is itself very disputable. Artworks cannot be compared to children and hence from the very nature of the subjects concerned, the comparison falters. A good judge would try to ascertain the wishes of a child at the centre of marital dispute but we surely cannot ask an art object where it would like to be, Berlin or Benin?
Read the rest of this entry »

May 8, 2009

Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Bill draft wording

Posted at 12:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Bill has now been published in its current form, shortly before its second reading in Parliament. This bill if it becomes law will allow the return by museums of artefacts looted during the Nazi era, something that in many cases is currently not possible, as proved by the Feldmann Case in 2005.

From:
UK Parliament

Session 2008 – 09
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament
Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Bill

Contents

1 Powers of de-accession
2 Applicability
3 Short title and commencement

Bill 35

A Bill To provide for the transfer from public museum and gallery collections of arts, artefacts and other objects stolen between 1933 and 1945 by or on behalf of the Nazi regime, its members and sympathisers; to provide for the return of such artefacts and objects to the lawful owners, their heirs and successors; and for connected purposes.
Read the rest of this entry »

May 7, 2009

Ebay is saving the looted antiquities market

Posted at 12:15 pm in Similar cases

Following on from the fact that Ebay was a major trader in looted artefacts a few years ago, in a strange twist, it seems that the vast numbers of forgeries on ebay is actually killing off the market in looted antiquities.

From:
Arstechnica

eBay is saving archeology by killing the antiquities market
How could a service that makes it easier to move looted material cut down on the looting? By making forgeries even easier to move.
By John Timmer | Last updated May 5, 2009 8:44 PM CT

By any reasonable analysis, eBay should have been a nightmare for archaeologists, allowing looted goods a new outlet, one that eliminated any cloak-and-dagger aspects of the illicit trade in antiquities by allowing the trade to flourish in plain sight, hidden by the anonymity of users’ accounts and the sheer volume of goods changing hands. But, according to at least one archaeologist who specializes in the civilizations of pre-Columbian South America, that hasn’t been the case at all. Instead, by swamping the market with fakes, eBay has made forgery a far more lucrative business, and destroyed the economics of looting.
Read the rest of this entry »

April 24, 2009

James Cuno double bill

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Now that James Cuno has contributed to two books trying to justify retention of cultural property, the New York Review of books has looked at both of these publications together.

From:
New York Review of Books

Volume 56, Number 8 · May 14, 2009
Who Should Own the World’s Antiquities?
By Hugh Eakin
Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage
by James Cuno

Princeton University Press, 228 pp., $24.95
Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities
edited by James Cuno
Princeton University Press, 220 pp.. $24.95

See the related article, The Affair of the Chinese Bronze Heads.

1.

Last June, the directors of the leading art museums of the United States agreed to limit their acquisitions of antiquities to works that have left their “country of probable modern discovery” before 1970, or that were exported legally after that date. On the face of it, the decision, issued by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), did no more than update guidelines for ancient art—one of a number of such policy refinements by the association in recent years. In fact, however, it announced a tectonic shift in museum thinking about collecting art and artifacts of the distant past, a change that was unimaginable even five years ago.
Read the rest of this entry »

April 22, 2009

Whose Culture – continued

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

Kwame Opoku concludes his piece on James Cuno’s new book on cultural property.

From:
Afrikanet

Comments on James Cuno´s “Whose culture” – Part 2 and End
Datum: 22.04.09 14:00
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst

Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku

IV. UNFINISHED WORK

Cuno ends his introduction with a statement which many of us could easily subscribe to in so far as it appears to be a call for dialogue: “This book will not be the final word in the debate over antiquities. But we hope it will add a new angle to the frame within which the discussion henceforth takes place. Nothing is more important to the fate of the preservation and greater understanding of our world’s common ancient past and antique legacy than we resolve the differences that divide the various parties in the dispute. Warfare and sectarian violence, which is destroying evidence of the past faster and more surely than the destruction of archaeological sites by looters, is beyond our control. Differences among museum professionals, university- and museum-based scholars, archaeologists, their sympathizers, national politicians, and international agencies should not be.” (63)
Read the rest of this entry »

Cuno´s ‘Whose Culture’

Posted at 1:04 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku looks at James Cuno’s latest efforts to persuade the world that it is right that disputed cultural artefacts should be retained by the big museums of the western world.

From:
Afrikanet

Comments on James Cuno´s “Whose Culture” – Part 1
Datum: 22.04.09 14:36
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
WHOSE “UNIVERSAL MUSEUM”? COMMENTS ON JAMES CUNO’S WHOSE CULTURE?

“The restitution of those cultural objects which our museums and collections, directly or indirectly, possess thanks to the colonial system and are now being demanded, must also not be postponed with cheap arguments and tricks.”

Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause. (1984)

I. CUNO SETS THE TONE

“Whose Culture? The modern nations within whose borders antiquities — the ancient artifacts of peoples long disappeared — happen to have been found? Or the world’s peoples, heirs to antiquity as the foundation of culture that has never known political borders but has always been fluid, mongrel, made from contact with new, strange, and wonderful things?
Read the rest of this entry »