Showing results 1 - 12 of 24 for the tag: Eighth Earl of Elgin.

March 24, 2014

Is buying back disputed artefacts really a solution?

Posted at 6:31 pm in Similar cases

Prompted by the recent articles on China’s attempts to buy back disputed treasures, Kwame Opoku looks at whether or not this approach could ever work for other countries, and the various issues that it raises.

Bronzes looted from the Summer Palace during the Opium Wars

Bronzes looted from the Summer Palace during the Opium Wars

From:
Eurasia Review

China’s Purchase Of Chinese Looted Artifacts: An Example For Other States? – OpEd
March 24, 2014
By Kwame Opoku

‘One day two bandits entered the Summer Palace. One plundered, the other burned. Victory can be a thieving woman, or so it seems. The devastation of the Summer Palace was accomplished by the two victors acting jointly. Mixed up in all this is the name of Elgin, which inevitably calls to mind the Parthenon. What was done to the Parthenon was done to the Summer Palace, more thoroughly and better, so that nothing of it should be left. All the treasures of all our cathedrals put together could not equal this formidable and splendid museum of the Orient. It contained not only masterpieces of art, but masses of jewellery. What a great exploit, what a windfall! One of the two victors filled his pockets; when the other saw this he filled his coffers. And back they came to Europe, arm in arm, laughing away. Such is the story of the two bandits. Before history, one of the two bandits will be called France; the other will be called England’. — Victor Hugo. (1)

These sculptures of a rat head and a rabbit head were among the objects looted in 1860 when French and British soldiers under the command of Lord Elgin sacked the imperial palace in Beijing. The eighth Lord Elgin was the son of the seventh Lord Elgin, who removed the Parthenon Marbles from Athens. These two sculptures have now been returned to China. (2)
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December 5, 2013

Cameron harangued online via Weibo by Chinese angry about looted artefacts in British Museum

Posted at 7:19 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Another week, another trade mission abroad by David Cameron. This one has ended similarly to his trip to India, where all the publicity rapidly became focused on demands for the return of the Koh-i-noor diamond.

In this case, it was the various items that were taken from the Summer Palace in Beijing, after it was ransacked by British troops. Large numbers of these aretfacts ended up in the British Museum, although many more of them are scattered across various private collections around the world. In recent years, there has been more than one instance where once has come up for auction.

What adds interest to this story (from the point of view of this website) is the fact that the raiding of the Summer Palace took place under the command of the Eighth Earl of Elgin – the son of the Seventh Earl, who was the Lord Elgin who removed the sculptures from the Parthenon. As a result, these actions of the Eighth Earl are detested just as much by the Chinese, as those of the Seventh Earl are reviled by the Greeks.

Battles between Chinese forces and Allied armies during the suppression of the Boxer rebellion.

Battles between Chinese forces and Allied armies during the suppression of the Boxer rebellion.

From:
The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Return our looted treasures
Chinese think-tank tells visiting UK PM
Afp, Beijing

British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday faced demands for the return of priceless artefacts looted from Beijing in the 19th century, on the last day of his visit to China.
Cameron travelled to the southwestern city of Chengdu on the third day of what embassy officials said was the largest ever British trade mission to the country.
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October 26, 2011

The Elgin family busts in Ottawa

Posted at 1:09 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

More coverage of the controversy over the locations of the busts of the Eighth Earl of Elgin and his wife in Canada.

From:
The Herald (Scotland)

Elgin marble row with a difference as Canadian hotel seeks return of busts
MARTIN WILLIAMS
22 Feb 2011

IT sometimes seems that anything linked to the Elgin dynasty and made of marble is bound to become shrouded in controversy.

The long-running row between London and Athens is rumbling on over the sculptures known as the Parthenon Marbles, which were taken from the Acropolis.
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The location of the Ottawa busts of the eighth Earl of Elgin & his wife

Posted at 12:53 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

It is hard to tell, whether everything that the Elgin family were involved in had a tendency to generate controversy – or whether the controversies are always mentioned, because it is easy for writers to attempt to draw parallels to the story of the Parthenon Marbles

From:
Ottawa Citizen

Our Elgin Marbles
Sculptures of Lord and Lady Elgin have moved from hotel to Rideau Hall
By Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen February 20, 2011

OTTAWA — What is the rightful home of Ottawa’s marble busts of Lord and Lady Elgin? The answer is a compelling tale about an Ottawa landmark, a noble Scottish family and a government that appears to value fine print over tradition.

Since 2003, the busts of the eighth earl of Elgin, an influential governor general of Canada, and his wife, Lady Mary Lambton, have been at Rideau Hall. Before that they were displayed prominently in the lobby of the Lord Elgin Hotel, and had been there since prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King unveiled them at the hotel’s opening on a Saturday afternoon in July 1941.
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January 14, 2011

Looted treasure from Beijing’s Summer Palace up for auction at Christies in Hong Kong

Posted at 2:03 pm in Similar cases

Both of the major auction houses dealing with fine art seem to be equally comfortable about selling looted & disputed artefacts. In many cases however, subsequent public outcry has led to postponement of the sale. In this case, Christies in Hong Kong is selling yet more artefacts that came from Beijing’s Summer Palace. This looting during the ransacking of the Summer Palace is particularly relevant of course, as it took place under the instruction of the Eighth Earl of Elgin – the son of Lord Elgin who removed the sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens.

From:
Artinfo

Looted Imperial Treasure Hits the Block at Christie’s Hong Kong

HONG KONG— There were just three lots in the sale of imperial treasures from the Fonthill Collection at Christie’s Hong Kong on December 1, but they attracted intense interest and raked in a total of HK$226.3 million ($29 million). The reason? Their links to one of the most infamous acts of foreign plunder inflicted on 19th-century imperial China.

The Fonthill Collection was the creation of a passionate collector by the name of Alfred Morrison (1821-1897). The Chinese works in the Christie’s sale came to him via one Lord Loch of Drylaw, who served as private secretary to Lord Elgin on the latter’s fateful mission to China at the end of the Second Opium War. Lord Loch acquired the plundered items after the 1860 destruction and looting by French and British troops of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing.
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November 22, 2010

Is China’s quest to recover looted artefacts from the Summer Palace likely to be successful?

Posted at 1:53 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Many experts feel that China’s attempts to catalogue (with the aim of eventually recovering) the artefacts looted from the Summer Palace in Beijing is unlikely to be successful.

From:
France 24

01 November 2010 – 17H15
China bid to regain looted relics a tough task: experts

AFP – China’s call on museums and antique collectors around the world to return relics looted from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing 150 years ago is unlikely to yield any significant results, experts say.

The Army Museum in Paris and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum are just two of the institutions that possess items taken from the former resort for Qing dynasty emperors — and are not about to give them up easily, they say.
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November 21, 2010

Lord Elgin’s rocks on display in the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Posted at 9:55 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

This story reads almost like a peculiar parody of the Parthenon Marbles… The Eighth Earl of Elgin (son of the Seventh Earl who removed the sculptures from the Parthenon) was at one time governor of Canada (when he wasn’t ransacking the Summer Palace in Beijing). During his time there, rocks got thrown at him during a riot, that he later brought back to his family home in Scotland as a souvenir of the experience. A few years ago, the Elgin family then decided to return Elgin’s rocks(as they became known), so that they could go on display in Canada as they were a part of Canada’s history.

One wonders, if Elgin had not faced financial insolvency & been forced to sell the Parthenon Sculptures, would his family have taken a more enlightened approach to the British Museum & returned the sculptures to Greece already?

From:
Edmonton Journal

History museum offers new narrative of Confederation
By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News October 28, 2010

Canada’s main history museum has unveiled a new exhibit casting the country’s Confederation story in a fresh light emphasizing the tensions that threatened to pull British North America apart in the years leading up to 1867’s unification project.

It’s a rewriting of the narrative of the country’s birth, says Canadian Museum of Civilization president Victor Rabinovitch, that doesn’t follow “the usual line about how peaceful everything was up here.”
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November 18, 2010

What remains of China’s Yuanmingyuan 150 years after being looted by the British?

Posted at 9:58 pm in Similar cases

One hundred and fifty years after the looting & destruction of Beijing’s Summer Palace under the instruction of the Eighth Earl of Elgin (son of the seventh earl who removed the sculptures from the Parthenon), China is still trying to retrieve some of their cultural treasures that were taken following the event.

From:
New York Times

China Remembers a Vast Crime
By SHEILA MELVIN
Published: October 21, 2010

BEIJING — In early October of 1860, the commanders of the British and French forces waging war on Qing Dynasty China held a tense conference outside the gates of the Garden of Perfect Brightness — Yuanmingyuan — on the western outskirts of Beijing.

Victory was at hand, the emperor having fled on an “autumnal hunting tour,” and the meeting concerned its spoils: Each side feared the other would obtain more booty from looting the huge complex.
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October 21, 2010

Reconstructing China’s treasures

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

The looting & destruction of the Summer Palace in Beijing (under the instruction of the Eighth Earl of Elgin – son of Lord Elgin who removed the Marbles from the Parthenon) has had lasting consequences for China – many of the artefacts are still located abroad & many more were destroyed. China is now making efforts to piece together some of the surviving fragments from the building to reconstruct the original artefacts.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Piece by piece, China reconstructs treasures destroyed by British troops
By Peter Foster, Beijing
Published: 6:13PM BST 22 Aug 2010

Almost 150 years after British and French troops looted and destroyed the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, Chinese archaeologists are painstakingly patching together treasured historical artefacts excavated from the ruins.

Archaeology students are piecing together thousands of fragments of Qing Dynasty porcelain that have been excavated over the past 30 years from what is known in China as the “Gardens of Perfect Brightness”.
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August 22, 2010

Athens history exhibition in Shanghai aims to spread cultural awareness

Posted at 2:43 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Much has been made in the past of the British Museum’s links with other countries such as China (when it suits them). This helps them to backup their Universal Museum argument, implying that through numerous cultural links it is in fact a museum of the world & not a purely British institution.

Collaboration with other countries, to create reciprocal exhibitions is not limited to the British Museum however, as evidenced by previous exhibitions in China sponsored by Greece. Indeed, the two countries have quite a bit in common, as both are trying to recover items from abroad that were looted by different Earls of Elgin.

From:
People’s Daily

Athens history exhibit opens in Shanghai
17:28, June 11, 2010

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism will organize a cultural archeological exhibition in the Shanghai Library from June 10 to June 20 with the title “Athens: The Living History.”

The exhibition is a Greek contribution to Expo 2010 closely related to the theme “Better City, Better Life” and the theme of the Greek Pavilion “Polis, The Living City.” It presents the ancient and modern city of Athens including the city’s architecture and urban development as well as the integration of ancient monuments into daily life.
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December 7, 2009

China’s hunt for their looted treasures

Posted at 2:08 pm in Similar cases

The looting of the Summer Palace in Beijing (an act carried out largely under the instruction of the Eighth Earl of Elgin – Son of the Seventh Earl who took the Parthenon Marbles) continues to cause controversy today, due to the fact that many of the artefacts from the site have ended up in museums around the world – although often they are not even on public display.

Now though, China is making a first step towards resolving the issue, building up a catalogue of the surviving artefacts & where they are located.

From:
Wall Street Journal

China Goes Treasure Hunting
Nationalism, not art history, drives the hunt for Summer Palace artifacts.
OPINION ASIA – NOVEMBER 23, 2009, 1:16 P.M. ET
By PETER NEVILLE-HADLEY

Next year Beijing will mark the 150th anniversary of the burning and looting of the Summer Palace by British and French forces. But the city has hit on an odd way to commemorate these events: In preparation, Palace Director Chen Mingjie recently announced that researchers will attempt to catalogue every item looted from the complex and now in museums overseas.

At first sight this might appear to be a purely academic exercise. Mr. Chen says he wants to identify works of art, not repatriate them, but on closer examination the plan has all the makings of a public-relations effort aimed at the Chinese people themselves.
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November 5, 2009

Tracing the artefacts looted from the Summer Palace

Posted at 7:31 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

China is sending teams of experts to catalogue the Chinese artefacts in museums abroad. This raises the question though of why the Museums do not already have such records of their own – or if they do have them, why they are unwilling to share them.

From:
Modern Ghana

CHINESE RESEARCH ARTEFACTS LOOTED IN ANGLO-FRENCH ATTACK ON SUMMER PALACE IN 1860: DO “GREAT MUSEUMS” NOT KEEP RECORDS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.

“Two robbers breaking into a museum, devastating, looting and burning, leaving laughing hand-in-hand with their bags full of treasures; one of the robbers is called France and the other Britain.” Victor Hugo. (1)

China has announced its intention of sending groups of researchers to various museums in the West, especially France, Britain and United States, such as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum to draw a list of the artefacts that were looted in 1860 during the Anglo-French invasion of Beijing, (then Peking).(2) Victor Hugo had expressed the wish and the hope that one day France and Britain would return the looted objects taken from an Asian country, thousands of miles away from France and Britain, that had been attacked because of its resistance to European imperialism. (3)
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