Showing results 121 - 131 of 131 for the tag: Egypt.

December 5, 2008

The plundering of the ancient world

Posted at 10:06 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Sharon Waxman’s book Loot continues to receive large numbers of reviews in the US. Even if people only read the review & do not buy the book, this will still increase awareness on the issues of looted artefacts & help to keep the subject on the radar.

From:
The Payson Roundup (Arizona)

Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World
Reviewed by Larry Cox
December 3, 2008

For the past two centuries, the treasures of the ancient world have been shamelessly plundered. One of the most graphic examples involves the tomb of Amenophis III in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Looters in the 19th century hacked the head out of the pharaoh in three murals. Those fragments are now on display in the Louvre, leaving behind the original mural, which is permanently defaced.

Other ancient treasures also were looted and are now scattered throughout the world. The Elgin marbles originally crafted for the Acropolis are in London, dozens of Etruscan masterworks now reside in American collections, and there are now almost as many mummies in France as in Egypt.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 3, 2008

Loot & the Getty’s reaction

Posted at 8:36 pm in British Museum, Events, Similar cases

This interview with Sharon Waxman indicates that the Getty’s reaction to her recent book on looted artefacts has not been particularly positive, due to her coverage of some of the institution’s practises.

From:
Boston Globe

Sharon Waxman: On the trail of ‘Loot’
Posted by David Beard, Boston.com Staff December 2, 2008 07:22 AM

Sharon Waxman, a former Washington Post and New York Times culture reporter, appears in Cambridge on Wednesday to speak about “Loot” (Times Books), her account of the US and European plunder of Third World antiquities — and the return home for some of the art. She spoke from her home in Los Angeles.

Q: Your last book, “Rebels on the Backlot,” was about six Hollywood bad boy film directors of the 1990s. Could “Loot” be any more different?
Read the rest of this entry »

December 1, 2008

The battle over stolen treasures from the ancient world

Posted at 1:48 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Sharon Waxman’s new book seems now to have been reviewed in almost all the major news publications in the US – perhaps an indication of the current level of interest in the subject.

From:
San Francisco Chronicle

Nonfiction review: ‘Loot’ by Sharon Waxman
Reagan Upshaw, Special to The Chronicle
Saturday, November 29, 2008

Loot
The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World
By Sharon Waxman
Times Books; 414 pages; $30

The title, stamped in gold capital letters on the dust jacket, gives away the author’s agenda: This is a muckraking book about art objects from ancient cultures that have found their way into major museums of Europe and the United States. Sharon Waxman has a nose for scandal and spends much of the book following up on reports of thefts by grave robbers, smuggling by dealers and sexual hanky-panky between museum personnel.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 18, 2008

What can be learnt from the Egyptian approach to restitution

Posted at 2:05 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass has championed the cause of cultural property restitution in Egypt in recent years. What can other countries learn from his approach?

From:
Afrikanet

Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 17 October 2008
SHALL WE LEARN FROM ZAHI HAWASS ON HOW TO RECOVER STOLEN/LOOTED CULTURAL OBJECTS?

We may not all agree with Zahi Hawass in his style and manner of approach to the issue of restitution of stolen or looted artefacts but there is no denying that the famous Egyptologist, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, has been extremely effective in his tasks and knows his job. This is no mean feat in a period where some of those having the fate of millions in their hands do not seem to have mastered their jobs.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 12, 2008

The British Museum’s claims to the Rosetta Stone

Posted at 6:22 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Jonathan Downs, the author of Discovery at Rosetta, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, has kindly sent me the text of the concluding chapter of this book. This chapter looks at the case for the return of the Rosetta Stone to Egypt – both its legality & the arguments surrounding it. The case for the restitution of the Rosetta Stone has a lot of parallels with the Parthenon Marbles – their acquisitions were roughly contemporaneous, they both came from outposts of what was at that time the Ottoman Empire, They both ended up in the British Museum.

The author has also offered to respond to any queries that people make in the comments on this message.

From:
Jonathan Downs (by email)

The following is an extract from Discovery at Rosetta (by Jonathan Downs, Constable, 2008, pp.210-215) outlining the current status of the Rosetta Stone, the facts governing its legal ownership and its possible repatriation to Egypt:

THE ROSETTA STONE: A PROUD TROPHY?

Despite the Rosetta Stone’s public profile, historically its status as an exhibit in the British Museum has not been nearly as contested as that of the ‘Elgin’ or Parthenon Marbles. To many it is immediately recognizable and more memorable than the sculptures that were formerly part of the Athenian Acropolis. This is understandable; until the end of the 1990s the Rosetta Stone rested on an angled frame close to the entrance of the museum – unavoidable, it was one of the first objects to be encountered, and crowds of visitors have gathered round it for the past two hundred years. Cleaned by conservators, it now occupies an equally prominent position in the centre of the Egypt collection by the Great Court entrance, upright within a protective case, still one of the most famous objects in the world. Before the arrival of the antiquities from Egypt in 1802, the British Museum contained little grand sculpture, its halls filled chiefly with smaller curiosities. The acquisition of the Rosetta Stone and the cargo from the Alexandria victory was an important step in the development of the institution.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 1, 2008

How the Benin Bronzes left Benin

Posted at 12:42 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Inspired by Kwame Opoku’s writings on the Benin Bronzes, David Gill looks at the story of how the Benin Bronzes ended up in the great museums of the western world & how this relates to James Cuno’s analysis of the importance of artefacts such as these within an Encyclopaedic museum.

From:
Modern Ghana

Some Thoughts on the Benin Bronzes
By David Gill
Feature Article | Wed, 30 Jul 2008

James Cuno (in Who Owns Antiquity? [2008]) takes six objects from the holdings of the Art Institute of Chicago to demonstrate its character as an “encyclopedic museum”. The third piece is a bronze plaque from Benin that was acquired in 1933; Cuno speculates that it probably “left” the kingdom of Benin following the punitive raid by the British in 1897.

Kwame Anthony Appiah (Cosmopolitanism [2006]) also uses the Benin bronzes as he asks the question, “Whose Culture Is it, Anyway?”
Read the rest of this entry »

July 12, 2008

Following the Egyptian example for recovery of looted artefacts

Posted at 10:00 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Of all the African countries, Egypt has been by far the most successful in recovering their looted artefacts (three thousand in the last three years) from abroad. By studying the way in which they have operated, it is possible for other nations to see more clearly how their own efforts in this area could be re-structured to make them more successful. It is worth bearing in mind though that whilst Egypt has had many successes, it still hasn’t had any luck in securing even short term loans of some of its most treasured artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone & the bust of Nefertiti.

From:
Afrikanet.info

Recovering stolen cultural objects – the Egyptian example
Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 11 July 2008
ARE THE EGYPTIANS SHOWING THE WAY TO THE REST
OF THE AFRICAN STATES
IN THE RECOVERY OF STOLEN CULTURAL OBJECTS?

From the information we have so far at our disposal, it seems the Egyptians are the most advanced among the Africans when it comes to the question of recovery of stolen or illegally exported cultural items. They seem in any case to be the best organized and the most active in pursuing this objective no matter the obstacles.

And the obstacles here are indeed great. One must contest with the long entrenched European ideology that Western Europe has a God-given right and indeed duty to collect and supervise all the cultural achievements of mankind. The concrete expression of this ideology is found in the ideology of the defendants of the so-called “universal museum”. There are also the large investments in antiquities and the powerful illicit trade in 3000 artefacts antiquities.
Read the rest of this entry »

June 22, 2008

Elginism – the origins of a word

Posted at 11:55 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Although the term Elginism is derived from Lord Elgin, even cursory research will show that the practice dates back far earlier. At the time that people such as Howard Carter were exploring Egypt for instance, the majority of the royal tombs had already been looted hundreds, of not thousands of years before.

I first heard of the term during a lecture by Mary Beard at the School of Advanced Studies, which was part of the Ethics Programme of their Institute of Philosophy, in 2000. Some time after that, it occured to me that it would be an interesting name for a website on the subject, but found that the domain name was already in use for the posters relating to TBWA’s advertising campaign in Greece about the Parthenon Marbles. Some time after this though, I noticed that their site had been deleted & purchased the domain.

Since then, I have both researched & developed the definition of the term Elginism and to an extent have popularised it, as the vast majority of references to it found online relate to this website. The earliest references that I came across to the term were from the New Scientist in 1990. Since then it had cropped up occasionally in books & journals, but I could not find any earlier references. As a result I assumed that at the earliest, the word originated from some time during the mid 1980s, as this would tie in with the period in which Melina Mercouri spearheaded renewed efforts to retrieve the sculptures for Greece.

Out of interest, I looked up the term on the recently introduced google book search, part of a project that amongst other things, involves the scanning of the archives of many libraries & where possible making the scans available online & searchable through optical character recognition. I was not prepared though for how old this would reveal the use of the term to be.

The initial search revealed 53 books or journals that had mentioned the word, only a few of which I had come across before. Some of these historic references referred to quite a different use of the word, relating to the son of the seventh Earl of Elgin, who became Governor General of Canada. Some more related to the destruction of old houses in France – something that I had previously known to have been described as Elginism. These uses of the terms already took me back as far as 1930.

Stepping back still earlier though, references once more seemed to relate to my own understanding of the word, and it is mentioned in this context in 1895. The earliest mention that I cam across though was from Francis Lister Hawks’s book The Monuments of Egypt: Or, Egypt a Witness for the Bible which dated from 1850. Helpfully, this was one of the books that was out of copyright & thus allowed me to view the passage referring to the word which was on page 42. On reading page 42 I could find no mention of it however, but later discovered that the book had bound at its end another book, Journal of a Voyage up the Nile written anonymously (the title page merely states by an American) in 1848 & 1849. This book was also later available separately & editions from that period are available in various antiquarian booksellers.

The passage that mentions the term is still using it in exactly the way that it is used today, but also uses it in a way that suggests that the word is relatively widely understood (we must also note that this is by an American author, so theoretically he would be less aware of what was going on in Britain).

The actual sentence that relates to Elginism is:

The idea that the captives in this tomb were Joseph’s brethren, which Mrs. Romer in her Travels, makes such a great noise about, is well exposed by Miss Martineau; as well as the Elginism of Mrs. Romer, in removing a figure of one of the captives.

So, not only was the term used at that time, in reference to the practices of Lord Elgin, but it is clear from the way it is written, that by 1850, such practices were already frowned on by many – suggesting that whilst what what Elgin did may have been acceptable at the time he did it, it become regarded as unacceptable less than 50 years after.

If anyone has an earlier example of the use of the word, please let me know.

October 26, 2003

Looted mummy of Ramses I returned to Egypt by Atlanta’s Michael Carlos Museum

Posted at 9:27 am in Similar cases

An Egyptian mummy taken from the country over 140 years ago, has been returned by the Michael Carlos Museum, after tests indicated that it was probably the body of Pharaoh Ramses I.

From:
BBC News

Last Updated: Sunday, 26 October, 2003, 14:44 GMT
Egypt’s ‘Ramses’ mummy returned

An ancient Egyptian mummy thought to be that of Pharaoh Ramses I has returned home after more than 140 years in North American museums.

The body was carried off the plane in Cairo in a box draped in Egypt’s flag.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 29, 2003

British Museum rejects calls for Rosetta Stone return

Posted at 9:42 am in British Museum, Similar cases

The British Museum has stated that they will not consider any return of the Rosetta Stone to Egypt, whether permanently, or in the form of a loan.

From:
Mail & Guardian

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
The Rosetta Stone will stay in London, and that’s final
Cairo
29 July 2003 10:34

Egypt’s antiquities chief will continue to press the British Museum to loan the 2 200-year-old Rosetta Stone to Cairo for a limited time, though British curators say they can’t let a piece central to their collection go.

“The trustees do not consent to the loan of what might be called “iconic” objects …. To loan such pieces would result in our disappointing the five-million or so visitors who come to the museum every year,” British Museum officials said in a statement issued on Monday in London.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 25, 2003

Egypt calls for British Museum to return Rosetta Stone

Posted at 9:30 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Egypt’s Zahi Hawass has requested that the British Museum returns the Rosetta Stone.

From:
BBC News

Last Updated: Monday, 21 July, 2003, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Egypt calls for return of Rosetta Stone

Egyptian authorities are calling for the British Museum to return the 2,000-year-old Rosetta Stone to Cairo.

The artefact is one of the British Museum’s most prize pieces, helping to attract millions of visitors each year.
Read the rest of this entry »

Page 11 of 111...7891011