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Daily Mail Archives • Elginism

Showing 12 results for the tag: Daily Mail.

May 13, 2015

Greece advised “use it or loose it” with Marbles legal action

Posted at 11:23 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the advice received by Greece from the legal team (which despite what the Daily Mail would like you to believe, is not led by Amal Clooney – she is merely one of the three members) on the case for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

From:
Daily Mail

Amal Clooney advises Greece to take British Museum to international court to win back Elgin Marbles, saying: ‘It’s now or never’
By Jenny Stanton For Mailonline
Published: 09:27, 13 May 2015 | Updated: 10:18, 13 May 2015

Amal Clooney has told Greece it’s ‘now or never’ to win back the Elgin Marbles and has advised it to take the British Museum to the International Court of Justice.

The human rights lawyer, whose London Doughty Street Chambers in London has been advising the Greek government on possible action, has filed a 150-page report outlining a strategy to ensure the return of the 5th century BC statues.
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February 1, 2015

Why recent articles about Amal & the Marbles are misleading

Posted at 8:56 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

A number of the papers this weekend carried a similar story relating to the recent change of government in Greece.

The basis of the story is relatively factual – that the country is reviewing existing contracts that the government holds and is looking to save money where possible. From that point onwards though, the story is a complete fabrication, unless somebody else can point me to evidence to the contrary.

The story relates to the visit late last year to Greece of a team of Laywers, which included Amal Clooney. The way the story is portrayed is that whatever was agreed in Athens is now to be ripped up – and that her law firm is no longer likely to be a part of any initiative.

The reality (to the best of my knowledge) is something more like this.

1. Amal travelled to Athens with Geoffrey Robertson and Professor Norman Palmer and was very much the junior one of the three there. To describe it as Amal’s law firm is laughable. However the papers have a love of celebrity stories, so I doubt I can stop them from framing the story in this way. In some ways, I don’t have such an issue with it, if it gets readers who might otherwise have been uninterested to find out more about the Parthenon Marbles – although they won;t learn a great deal from this particular article.

2. The team of lawyers were in Athens to advise the government about the legal options available to them with regard to securing the return of the Marbles. To the best of my knowledge, they were not signed up to anything and if they received any money, it was likely to be merely their out of pocket expenses for travel, accommodation etc while they were there. To suggest that a government would sign any sort of contract on a first meeting over a subject as complex as the Parthenon Sculptures reunification is ridiculously naive. In the previous coalition, various ministers were trained lawyers and would have wanted to give the matter full consideration & have it assessed by their own in-house legal advisors and others before signing on the dotted line.

3. Much is made of the cost, but as highlighted above, as yet, there is no clear cost associated with this, as nothing has been agreed. Furthermore, the sort of cost talked about for a legal case, while a massive amount to the average man in the street, is tiny for governments that are regularly moving about far larger amounts on a daily basis. That is not to say that it is not an issue – but if there was a motivation to proceed, then the cost impact would be unlikely to be the major consideration. Indeed, if it was a major issue for the government and they were willing to swallow their pride, I am aware of various wealthy Greek foundations and individuals around the world, which would be happy to assist in funding such an initiative.

All in all, its a bit of a non-story. The new government is renewing contracts, the new culture minister is asked about the marbles & says he’s reviewing the strategy (as any new government would). That is all that has happened.

Personally, I hope that the government continues along the lines of the previous coalition with regard to the Marbles. I know that in Greek politics, there is often a tendency to rip up everything that the previous government did and head in the opposite direction, but I personally believe that great steps forward were made in the last few years – far more than was managed by any previous governments. Not only was an advisory team specifically focused on the Marbles set up, but on their advice, an invitation to mediation via UNESCO was issued and more recently, discussions have been made about other possible legal approaches. Finally the country has moved from talking about the issue to acting on it, and it would be a great shame to lose this momentum. For a relatively small outlay (for a nation, even an impoverished one), something great could eventually be achieved – something that could give the average Greek citizen a sense of achievement and success, a reason to be proud in their country once more.

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

From:
Daily Mail

Curtains for the new Mrs Clooney? Amal’s law firm could be ditched as advisor on Elgin Marbles as Greece’s new left-wing government reviews contracts
By Flora Drury For Mailonline
Published: 12:10, 31 January 2015 | Updated: 13:37, 31 January 2015

Amal Clooney could find herself with one less high profile case to fight after Greece’s new culture minister revealed they were reconsidering how to win back the Elgin Marbles.

Aristides Baltas revealed they were looking at the ‘strategy’ behind his country’s attempts to get the 5th century BC statues returned – and were willing to ‘tweak’ it if necessary.
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December 11, 2014

Can Russia be trusted to return Parthenon sculpture to Britain?

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

This post continues my thematic reproduction of articles on the recent loan of a Parthenon sculpture to the Hermitage in St Petersburg by the British Museum.

The gist of these three articles is whether or not Putin’s Russia can be trusted to return the sculpture to Britain. Beyond that starting point though, the argument can follow various possible routes.

A lot of the reasoning here is directed at Russia rather than the Hermitage – however, in many cases, if a country wants to over-ride the wishes of its museums, it can do so fairly easily.

There are various other possible arguments that have not been put forward in these articles. One possible line of thinking is that Russia might return the sculpture to Greece – in order to gain an ally in the EU. The two countries have in common their heritage of Orthodox Christianity, but that is about as far as it goes. If Greece was to push for, or accept such an offer, it might well jeopardise their future bids to retrieve the remainder of the sculptures in the British Museum, so would not necessarily be in their interest.

Putin has in the past displayed clear support for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures in Athens, stating that “The Greeks are trying to bring back what belongs not only to them but to all humanity. This shows that your efforts are to your [the Greeks] credit and we [the Russians] will support you in this.“. He also noted that “various conquerors had attempted to remove and appropriate parts of the Parthenon” which was “one of the most outstanding monuments of humanity

I have to say though, that past experience with some of the news sources involved here leads me to doubt the likelihood of some of these stories actually turning out to be any more than just speculation.

On a separate note, it is disappointing (but not surprising) to see that Neil MacGregor continues to make the assertion that Greece has never asked for a loan of the sculptures – something that has already been proved incorrect by this post I made a few days ago.

It is also interesting to see that the Director of the Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovskiy, describes the loan as an important artistic and political gesture. This directly contradicts what the British Museum told me on twitter – that “Being independent of government, we work directly with museums so that dialogues can develop free from political considerations“. So is what they are doing a political gesture or not? I think most would argue that whether or not it is the intention to deny political involvement, this doesn’t necessarily make the gesture apolitical.

Visitors look at a sculpture from the Parthenon marbles at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

Visitors look at a sculpture from the Parthenon marbles at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

From:
Daily Mail

Fears raised that Elgin Marbles sculpture sent to Russia ‘won’t be sent back’ – as British Museum claims Greece has never formally asked for them to be returned
By Jenny Awford for MailOnline
Published: 11:49, 6 December 2014 | Updated: 15:32, 6 December 2014

Fears are growing for the safety of part of the Elgin marbles loaned to Russia, as British museum trustees admitted they were worried the sculpture might not come back.

The unveiling of the headless statue of Greek river-god Ilissos at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg yesterday prompted a furious diplomatic row with Greece.
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October 27, 2014

Peter Hitchens argues for return of Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 1:45 pm in Elgin Marbles

Bearing in mind many of his other opinions, many would not expect Peter Hitchens to be in favour of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Those who have followed the issue though will know that it is in fact pretty much the only issue that he & he brother Christopher agreed on.

Here he once again reiterates his view that they should be returned to Greece.

Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens

From:
Daily Mail

PETER HITCHENS: So how long will it be before we invite the IS jihadis to a white-tie dinner?
By Peter Hitchens for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 00:01, 19 October 2014 | Updated: 10:33, 19 October 2014

[…]

Mrs Clooney is right: we have to lose our Marbles

I back Amal Clooney in her battle to get the Elgin Marbles sent back to their home in Athens.

We rescued them from the Ottomans. We’ve guarded them well. But now their home is safe again, and we have had them for long enough.
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February 11, 2014

George Clooney on the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 2:02 pm in Elgin Marbles

More coverage of George Clooney’s statements about the Parthenon Marbles & how he believes that they should be returned to Greece.

George Clooney

George Clooney

From:
Guardian

George Clooney backs return of Parthenon Marbles to Greece
Actor says it would be “very nice” if the British Museum reptriates ancient frieze removed by Lord Elgin in 19th century
Maev Kennedy
The Guardian, Sunday 9 February 2014 20.16 GMT

George Clooney has strolled into one of the most bitter and longest-running controversies in the heritage world, saying it would be “very nice” if the British Museum sent the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece.

Clooney, at the Berlin Film Festival promoting The Monuments Men, the story of an Allied team trying to save artefacts from the Nazis, was asked by a Greek reporter whether Britain should return the Marbles.
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March 7, 2013

Metal detectorists who looted ancient coins in UK given Anti Social Behavious Order

Posted at 2:08 pm in Similar cases

Metal detecting is a continual source of concern amongst archaeologists. While many famous discoveries have been made in this way, at the other end of the spectrum are reckless criminals who covertly ransack ancient sites with the sole intention of selling whatever they can find for personal gain.

From:
Daily Mail

Thieves who looted coins from ancient Roman site handed Britain’s first ASBO banning them from METAL DETECTING
Peter Cox and Darren West handed suspended sentences for theft
Caught digging up land on English Heritage site in Northamptonshire
By Hugo Gye
PUBLISHED: 15:41, 3 January 2013 | UPDATED: 07:37, 4 January 2013

Two thieves have become the first people in Britain to be handed ASBOs banning them from metal detecting.

Peter Cox and Darren West were given the unique punishment after they looted ancient coins from a Roman site belonging to English Heritage.
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February 18, 2013

Stealing a work of art – that some claim was vandalism in the first place

Posted at 2:14 pm in Similar cases

This story is interesting on a number of levels. Coming from Bristol, I saw Banksy’s work long before he was famous outside his home city & before his work became seen as art rather than vandalism. It was interesting to note the change of heart of the local newspapers, who switched their point of view within the space of a year, from stop this vandal ruining our city, to young Bristol artist achieves international recognition… Anyway, the case in this story is a peculiar one – the art appears without permission – an nobody gets paid for it initially, but if it is good enough, then it adds some sort of value to the wall that was picked as its location. At the end of the day, the artist expects many of their works to be erased by those who do not appreciate them, so the only person who really loses out is the owner of the wall it was on (and the other people who passed by the wall & appreciated it).

On the other hand, I don’t entirely buy into the idea that the artwork was a gift to the local community – I think it happened to be a wall in the right place & that was all there was to it.

That said, while the work was produced for free & was not commissioned as such, the idea that someone can come along & remove it without permission for purely personal gain is entirely wrong, just as much so as in other cases of stolen / looted art. The fact that it is possible to sell works such as this on the open market, suggests that many dealers & collectors are still completely lacking in any sort of moral framework to their dealings & that self policing of the industry does not work.

The fact that no complaint has been lodged with the police suggests that perhaps there is no crime to be reported – it would not surprise me if the person who authorised the removal & was doing the selling was in fact the owner of the wall.

It would be interesting to hear Banksy’s viewpoint on the story.

From:
Daily Mail

Banksy’s ‘Slave Labour’ mural taken from wall and put on U.S. art auction website for £450,000
Street art cut from London wall last week is now up for sale in America
Banksy Slave Labour could fetch nearly half a million at auction
Locals are furious their ‘gift’ from the mystery Bristol artist has been taken
By Sam Webb
PUBLISHED: 10:41, 18 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:57, 18 February 2013

A painting by the elusive British guerilla artist Banksy has been gouged out of a wall in North London and is being sold by an American art dealer.

Banksy Slave Labour, depicting a child labourer sewing Union Jack bunting, is expected to fetch £450,000 on the Fine Art Auctions Miami website.
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April 10, 2012

Turkey asks British Museum to return the Samsat Stele

Posted at 12:54 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As part of their ongoing campaign for the restitution of looted artefacts, Turkey has written to the British Museum asking for the return of the Samsat Stele, a stone tablet that is over two thousand years old.

From:
Today’s Zaman

Turkey requests return of Samsat Stele from Britain
9 April 2012 / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

The Turkish government has requested from Britain the return of a stone tablet dating back to the first century.

The Samsat Stele, which is currently held at the British Museum, is a stone tablet dating back to the first century B.C. portraying Commagenian King Antiochos I Epiphanes greeting Greek god Zeus’s son Herakles. The hole in the center of the Samat Stele, which is made of basalt, reflects its later use as an oil press.
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September 29, 2010

Indian TV show asks David Cameron about returning the Koh-i-Noor diamond

Posted at 5:02 pm in Similar cases

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been questioned about the Koh-i-Noor diamond during an interview on an Indian television show. I wold not say that this is an ambush as such – any high ranking British official visiting India ought to have had this item on the list of possible things that they would be asked about.

What is more disappointing is that the Prime Minister justified his answer by falling back on the many times discredited argument that returning it would set a precedent for emptying the museums & galleries of Britain. This argument has been proven in the past not to hold true though. Restitution issues are normally dealt with on a case by case basis – each is looked at on it its own merits. On this basis, the assumption that the return of one item would lead to the return of others implies that these cases have equal justification for return in the first place. So the implication of the statement that one return would lead to others is that all items in the museums are acquired in situations of dubious legality.

A second counter point is the fact that (as shown with the return of native American artefacts in the US) that many groups do not want return – in many cases, people are happy with artefacts where they are & accept that they were acquired legitimately. In other cases, they merely want their ownership of the artefact acknowledged, or rights of access to it.

From:
Daily Mail

David Cameron ambushed on Indian TV over 105-carat Koh-i-noor diamond as country demands its return
By Jason Groves
Last updated at 6:00 PM on 29th July 2010

David Cameron has rejected a plea to return the fabled Koh-i-noor diamond – now the most famous of the Crown Jewels – to India.

There has been a growing clamour on the sub-continent for the repatriation of the gem, and in an interview on India’s NDTV channel the Prime Minister was asked directly if he would give it back.
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December 26, 2009

The Rosetta Stone – Should the UK return it to Egypt?

Posted at 3:25 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Zahi Hawass’s comments about the Rosetta Stone have provoked a lot of discussion in the UK – but as yet, no signs of any actual progress towards resolving the issue.

From:
The Independent

The Big Question: What is the Rosetta Stone, and should Britain return it to Egypt?
By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter
Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Why are we asking this now?

Dr Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and the high priest of all matters archaeological in the Land of the Pharaohs, arrived in London yesterday to further his demand for the return of the Rosetta Stone from the display rooms of the British Museum, where it has been on show since 1802. Dr Hawass has embarked on an international campaign to secure the return of a host of renowned artefacts which he claims were plundered by colonial oppressors and assorted brigands from Egypt’s ancient tombs and palaces before ending up in some of the world’s most famous museums.
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July 8, 2009

The New Acropolis Museum is a new reason to visit Athens

Posted at 12:57 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum has already created a huge amount of interest since its opening, giving a new reason for tourists to visit (or re-visit) Athens.

From:
Daily Mail

Greek holidays: Inside Athens’s stunning new Acropolis museum
By Joanna Tweedy
Last updated at 12:52 PM on 06th July 2009

Athenians have grown old waiting for the city’s new Acropolis Museum. From the first seeds of suggestion in 1976, it has taken more than three decades for this monolithic vision of glass and steel to arise. A few grey hairs won’t bother the Greek capital’s five million inhabitants but the fact that the Elgin Marbles – which they had hoped would be in the museum – remain 2,000 miles away in London rankles far more.
Acropolis Museum, Athens

The spaceship has landed: The new Acropolis Museum looks a little futuristic, but does a fine job of showcasing the past
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January 10, 2009

Museums should keep Nazi loot

Posted at 7:31 pm in Similar cases

In a move that goes against the accepted norm, Sir Norman Rosenthal is arguing that Nazi loot in museums should not be returned. An additional twist to the story is that Sir Norman Rosenthal is Jewish himself.

So. To recap – he is arguing that artefacts looted within living memory & presumably purchased without sufficient due diligence to highlight their provenance should now be regarded by everyone as completely legitimate property of the museums that now hold them, whilst the surviving heirs are left with nothing. I find it hard to see how this point of view benefits anyone other than the museums that he speaks on behalf of.

From:
Daily Mail

Museums should be able to keep artwork raided by the Nazis, says son of Jewish refugees
By Liz Thomas
Last updated at 5:26 PM on 09th January 2009

Former Royal Academy chief Sir Norman Rosenthal has provoked anger after arguing that museums should be able to keep Nazi looted artwork.

Sir Norman, who is the son of Jewish refugees who fled from Adolf Hitler to the UK, has called for museums to be allowed to keep pieces plundered by the Nazis, rather than being forced to return them to descendents of their owners.
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