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DCMS Archives • Elginism

Showing 10 results for the tag: DCMS.

February 10, 2014

George Clooney thinks Britain should return Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 12:15 am in Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

The book & now the film of Monuments Men have been covered a number of times already on this website.

Now that the film is out in the cinemas, others have also made the connection between the stories it describes & that of the Parthenon Sculptures.

At a recent press conference, George Clooney was asked by a journalist about whether he thought that Britain should return Greek artefacts (a clear reference to the Parthenon Sculptures). He stated that he felt that Greece had a very good case to make, and that is would be a very fair thing to happen if they were returned.

George Clooney, Star of Monuments Men

George Clooney, Star of Monuments Men

In response to this, the the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, John Whittingdale, suggested that Clooney didn’t know what he was talking about & that “There’s a very strong view in this country that they should stay in the UK”. Clearly, he has not seen the results of the previous polls organised by the BCRPM & Marbles Reunited a few years ago, which indicated an overwhelming level of support amongst people who were well informed about the issue.

You can see a video of the actual question here:

From:
Independent

George Clooney believes Britain should lose its Marbles
Ian Johnston
Sunday 09 February 2014

Hollywood actor George Clooney has called for the UK to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, saying it is “the right thing to do”.

Clooney was speaking at the Berlin Film Festival yesterday during a press conference for his film The Monuments Men, which tells the story of a team sent by the Allies to try to save artefacts from being stolen by the Nazis.
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February 27, 2013

Is free admission to museums & galleries in the UK sacrosanct?

Posted at 8:44 am in British Museum

This subject seems to crop up on a regular basis – is the government’s money better spent on other things rather than free admission to large numbers of museums & galleries? While I enjoy the free use that the current subsidies give, one has to wonder if the overall visitor experience might be improved if there was some level of charging, which would help to reduce over-crowding. When referring to the Parthenon Sculptures, the British Museum regularly proclaims that they can be viewed there free of charge – something that seems to be taken as beneficial (& as a criticism of the fact that the Acropolis museum has an entry fee), without any meaningful debate on the subject. This free access relies heavily on government subsidies – something that the museum is less willing to shout about.

From:
Independent

Dominic Lawson
Monday 25 February 2013
Why is free admission to art galleries and museums sacrosanct, when free swimming is not?

Even in a time of straitened national finances, it never pays to underestimate the awesome power of the arts lobby in Britain

What do you imagine would be an easier subsidy to defend at a time of straitened national finances – free swimming in public baths for children and pensioners; or free entry for all into metropolitan museums of fine art? If I didn’t know otherwise, I would have guessed the former. This, however, would be to underestimate the awesome power of the arts lobby in Britain.
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March 30, 2012

Why Britain should back the world ban on artefact looting

Posted at 1:47 pm in Similar cases

For reasons that are unclear to me, Britain has never ratified the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This is despite declaring in 2004 that they would ratify the convention. The only reason I have ever been given was that it conflicted in some places with existing laws in Britain, that would need to be amended first.

From:
Independent

Letters: Back the world ban on looting
Friday 30 March 2012

The March 2003 invasion of Iraq by a coalition led by the US and the UK failed to prevent the immediate and appalling looting of museums, libraries, archives and art galleries, followed by years of looting of archaeological sites across the country.

On 14 May 2004, the UK Government announced its intention to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and its protocols of 1954 and 1999. Today, on the ninth anniversary of the invasion, it has still to honour this commitment. This is despite all-party support for ratification and recently reiterated support for ratification from the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The USA ratified the Convention in 2009. This leaves the UK as arguably the most significant military power, and certainly the only power with extensive military involvements abroad, not to have ratified it.
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November 28, 2010

How independent is the British Museum from the British Government?

Posted at 1:19 pm in British Museum

When asked about returning the Parthenon Marbles, the British Museum likes to fall back on the arument that they couldn’t do so without a change in the law – making it a matter for the government. Yet at the same time, the government indicates that the issue is one for the trustees of the British Museum.

The government would like you to believe that the British Museum is entirely independent of government – the reality though is that the two are closely tied together – seeing the British Museum as a completely separate entity that is in complete control of all decisions is an inaccurate understanding of things. This is evidenced here, by the fact that (for whatever peculiar reasons) the British Museum can’t access large amounts of its own money because it is being with held by the government.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Treasury withholds museum donations
British Museum is denied access to £42.5m of its own cash
By Martin Bailey | From issue 218, November 2010
Published online 5 Nov 10 (News)

LONDON. UK national museums, including the British Museum and the National Gallery, have found it difficult to access over £50m donated by philanthropists, because of Treasury regulations. These are funds from donations and bequests which went into museums’ financial reserves and later fell under government control.

The scale of the potential problem is enormous, since the reserves for all national museums total £285m. The museums have not publicised the difficulty, fearing that this might rock the boat during delicate discussions with government.
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May 20, 2010

Staffordshire Hoard saved from the nation

Posted at 1:18 pm in Similar cases

Following donations from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Staffordshire hoard will be saved for the nation & displayed in a museum in the region where it was found. This is great news for the preservation of Britain’s cultural heritage, but yet again I find the difference in opinions about retaining our heritage to the importance of others retaining their heritage astonishing.

From:
The Independent

23-03-2010
Staffordshire Hoard ‘saved for the nation’
By Danielle Dwyer, Press Association

The Staffordshire Hoard has been “saved for the nation” after a cash boost from a Government heritage fund, it was announced today.

The collection – the largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold – was unearthed on Staffordshire farmland by a metal detector enthusiast last year and later valued at £3.3 million.
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November 5, 2009

Allowing artefacts to reinvigorate local identity

Posted at 8:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Staffordshire Hoard has been on display in the West Midlands & is now going to the British Museum for valuation. Almost everyone who has been asked though sees this as something that should be kept in the area where it was discovered, to allow people to see it in the region where it was discovered – to create something which people can identify with as from their area & be proud of. This principle ought to be applied by the government & museums to many other restitution cases – unfortunately though it rarely is.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:25 UK
‘Admirable’ if gold haul remained

It would be “admirable” if the haul of Anglo-Saxon gold, recently unearthed in Staffordshire, could remain in the West Midlands, the government has said.

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw told the Houses of Parliament he was working with the regional development agency and others to make sure that happened.
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December 29, 2002

UK museums against return of Aboriginal human remains

Posted at 8:18 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Museums in the UK are coming out strongly in criticism of suggestions that they should return Aboriginal artefacts in their collections. It is thought that some of this unwillingness stems from their fears that such a move would weaken their case for the continuing retention of the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.

From:
Sydney Morning Herald

Is it altruism or the fear of losing their marbles?
December 28 2002

Powerful forces are working to convince the British Government that the place for Aboriginal remains is London’s museums, writes Peter Fray.

“The race is a very degraded one and … even the coarse traders and cattle-ranchers make no irregular unions with their women so the race remains pure.” – Dr Arthur Gedge, circa 1900.
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December 18, 2002

Is fear of returning the Parthenon Sculptures blocking the return of Aboriginal remains?

Posted at 8:59 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Co-operation between the British & Australian government is leading towards the proposed return of various Aboriginal artefacts involving human remains, currently held in the UK’s Museums. Museums are trying to block any changes to the law that would allow this, partly out of a fear that such artefact returns would then lead to them having to return items such as the Parthenon Sculptures.

From:
The Age (Melbourne)

Return of remains at risk
December 18 2002
By Peter Fray
Europe Correspondent
London

Britain’s long-running dispute with Greece over the return of the Elgin Marbles sculptures threatens to stall Australian efforts to repatriate thousands of Aboriginal remains from leading British museums.

Members of an independent British working group, due to report on the export of human remains, say they have recently been warned against recommending law reforms that might indirectly assist the Greeks.
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November 13, 2002

Decision on Parthenon Marbles should be based on the will of the British People

Posted at 7:34 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Greek Culture Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, says that the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece is the will of the British People. He is in the UK on a mission to promote the case for the return of the statues, currently housed in the British Museum.

BBC News

Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 17:14 GMT
Minister puts case for Marbles return

The Greek culture minister has said the British people want the Elgin marbles to be returned to Greece.

Evangelos Venizelos is in London to introduce Greece’s first official proposal to return the marbles to their home and will meet the UK’s Culture Minister Tessa Jowell.
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November 9, 2002

The skeletons in the cupboards of Britain’s Museums – literally

Posted at 8:48 am in British Museum, Similar cases

In colonial times, many human body parts were collected from burial sites across the British Empire. Now, the descendants of the people who ended up in museum archives across the UK want their ancestral remains returned. Scientists argue that more study needs to be done, before this valuable resource is lost – but this seems to overwhelm the overwhelming moral obligation for return, which exists in many of these cases.

From:
Independent

09 November 2002 22:23 BDT
The skeletons of colonialism may get a decent burial at last

Body parts trundled back from all corners of the globe and displayed like mere ornaments are among the exhibits most popular with visitors to British collections. James Morrison reports on moves to give other cultures’ ancestors a more dignified end
10 November 2002

To the Victorians, they were invaluable specimens crucial to the study of human evolution. Today, they are viewed by many as little more than grisly reminders of the worst excesses of colonialism. But sweeping changes to the policies governing museum collections may pave the way for the mass repatriation of human remains to their countries of origin.
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