Showing results 1 - 12 of 21 for the tag: Elginism.

January 22, 2015

The Parthenon Marbles debate – who owns the sculptures?

Posted at 9:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

The Parthenon Marbles have managed to hit the headlines many times in the past year, for a variety of reasons.

Robert Fulford’s article looks at some of the reasons for this, along with the arguments from both sides. This blog gets a mention too – for its “witty and trenchant” opinions.

Part of the Parthenon frieze in the British Museum

Part of the Parthenon frieze in the British Museum

From:
National Post

The marble mouth debate over who really owns ancient Athens’ classics
Robert Fulford
January 20, 2015 12:14 PM ET

Last week, in the middle of an election campaign, the Greek parliament abruptly turned its attention to ancient Athenian culture. An opposition member, Tasos Kourakis, from the left-radical party that’s expected to win the election on Jan. 25, complained that Greek children are being badly educated on Lord Elgin and the marbles he stole from Athens and sold to the British Museum.

A Greek school textbook, used for the last 10 years, says the sculptures were “transported” to Britain. That’s wrong, Kourakis said. “The Elgin Marbles, gentlemen of the ministry of education, were not ‘transported’ but snatched by force.” For decades Greece has been demanding that Britain return the sculptures to Athens, a demand politicians treat as a centerpiece of national pride.
Read the rest of this entry »

February 22, 2013

David Cameron, Modern India, Returnism, the Koh-i-Noor & the Parthenon Sculptures

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

David Cameron’s comments on the Koh-i-noor diamond have provoked huge amounts of controversy amongst Indians everywhere, with thousands of posts on twitter speaking out against his attitude. The vocal attitude of the restitution supporters is to be encouraged – and perhaps other countries could learn from some of their techniques and apply them to their own campaigns. I was particularly intrigued by this comedy routine discussing the diamond – and its continued retention by Britain.

The British Prime Minister made apologies, for some of the worst acts committed in India during the time of the British Empire – something that may have required much thinking & soul searching (& possibly even a few conversations with lawyers about any potential increase in liability / culpability). At the same time though, this was only a statement, something that required no physical or financial commitment. On the case of the Koh-i-nor however, making any sort of commitment would mean that he had to actually do something rather than just talking about it.

The saying that actiona speak louder than words is well known – but the very different approach to these two issues by David Cameron suggests that our Prime Minister would far prefer to be a man of (cheap) words, than one of (expensive actions). Words are meaningless unless they are followed up by some physical commitment.

In part, the British PM is no doubt worried that the return of such a high profile artefact as the Koh-i-noor, a diamond famous around the world, that forms part of the crown jewels. He is worried that restitution could be a vote loser, whereas, the clamour of voices for return is still not loud enough for its continued retention to be seen as cause for concern. Where people think that there is a just case for return (of any artefacts), they must continue to make their feelings known – letting the current owners know that the issue is not going to go away if it is ignored – that some sort of compromise or negotiated agreement needs to be met. Almost always, there is potential for an agreement that can benefit both sides – but it often involves thinking outside the box, to consider what each side has that may benefit the other & most of all, to put aside worries about any temporary loss of face that may be caused by doing the right thing.

Throughout all of this, we must remember that the Koh-i-noor (like many other restitution cases) is a complex issue. Different parties take different positions on the circumstances of the original acquisition – was it a spoil of war, or a legitimate exchange? If someone’s hand is forced in making a deal, does the deal still hold the same legitimacy? Furthermore, India is not the only country claiming ownership of the gem – so even if it returned, they might then have to deal with other restitution claims from Iran, Pakistan & Afghanistan (these are the potential claimants that I know of – there may well be others).

Modern India is a very different place, from the one that gave up the diamond to Britain in 1849 – in much the same way as contemporary Greece bears little resemblance to 1800, when it formed an outpost of the Ottoman empire. If Britain wants to deal with (& benefit from the wealth of) these modern countries, perhaps it needs to do something to put right some of the actions that reduced their culture in the past – rather than just returning again wanting to take more (albeit in a very different way).

Where does this all leave the Elgin Marbles? Well, Cameron has previously made his (ill informed) views on this subject clear in the past, so the fact that he has not had a sudden change of heart should not be seen as a big surprise. What is ridiculous however, is his lumping of completely different cases together under the one umbrella – the suggestion that all cases should be dealt with by a single statement, rather than even starting to consider the varying individual merits & circumstances of each one.

Cameron upsets many with the use of the term Elgin Marbles – a phrase that has for a long time been deprecated by the British Museum & that (while known to the public), is no longer taken as being the correct name for these sculptures. Use of such terms in public statements, suggests that he has only a passing acquaintance with the actual facts of these cases, meaning that his cursory brushing away of any suggestions of restitution is all the more galling.

I spoke before of his use of the word returnism – a term that does not seem to have many other mentions elsewhere – perhaps I should not complain too loudly about this though – particularly as the title of this blog is equally guilty of nealogizing… I actually quite like the term – if I hadn’t named this site Elginism, perhaps returnism would have been a good alternative name.

From:
Global Post

Faine Greenwood
February 21, 2013 07:20
Britain doesn’t plan on returning Koh-i-Noor diamond to India, says Cameron

The enormous Koh-i-Noor diamond may have originated in India, but it won’t be returned to its original owners, reiterated British prime minister David Cameron on the third day of an official visit to India this week.

The 105-karat Koh-i-Noor diamond once graced the crown of Queen Elizabeth I and remains an integral part of the British collection of crown jewels, displayed at the Tower of London.
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June 13, 2012

Stirring up chaos by making the mistake of mentioning the Parthenon Marbles on Twitter

Posted at 6:04 pm in Elgin Marbles

The Tales from a Tour Guide blog (@TourGuideGirl on Twitter) has an interesting account of the vast amount of posts that ensued when she posted hew views about the Parthenon Marbles. I seem to be heavily implicated in it – although I’m far from the only commenter.

Read the article here.

October 31, 2010

Follow Elginism on Linkedin

Posted at 10:38 am in Elgin Marbles

There is now an Elginism group on Linkedin. It is connected to the main website, so you should be able to read all updates within the group if you prefer to follow the site that way.

You can join the group here.

October 19, 2010

Receive updates to Elginism by email

Posted at 1:34 pm in Elgin Marbles

At the request of some readers, I’ve added the option to receive updates to this website automatically by email. You can do this by clicking on the link near the base of the list of links on the right hand side, below the heading Meta.

You can also if you prefer still follow updates on Twitter or Facebook.

August 14, 2010

Elginism lives on in the world of high end interior decorating

Posted at 10:48 am in Similar cases

In many ways, the actions of people like Lord Elgin were a product of their time – it is assumed that what was tolerated then would not still be seen as acceptable today. The term Elginisme was used by the French to describe the practice of stealing antique fittings from old houses & in this sense it appears that for the super rich, this practice continues in the same way it always has done.

After the end of the original article, is a response by SAFE.

From:
New York Times

Trophy Hunters With Their Eye on Interiors
By JOYCE WADLER
Published: June 16, 2010

BRAGGING rights for homeowners are fleeting, hard to hold as a fistful of fog. You think your home is special because your backsplash is covered in tile imported from Mexico? There are those who think nothing of dispatching their architects and builders to the ends of the earth to personally scope out far more exotic goods — to the Middle East for the perfect limestone, even as bombs are going off, or to Indonesia for centuries-old reclaimed teak.

For the ultra-high-end contractor, it’s just part of a day’s work.

Consider John Finton, a Los Angeles contractor who is known (at least to his press agent) as “a modern day Indiana Jones.”
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The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures on Facebook

Posted at 10:01 am in Elgin Marbles

The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures now has a page on Facebook, that Facebook users can use to follow the updates to their campaign. Visit the page here.

This is in addition to their main website, which you can still access here.

It is worth reminding people that Elginism is also available to follow on Facebook & Twitter so that you can have the articles appear straight in your newsfeed.

March 26, 2010

Elginism is five years old

Posted at 5:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Today marks the point at which the website has been running for five years. I had the site registered for some time before that, but only with a single page of links available on it. Today marks the anniversary though of the first posting to the current site (the observant amongst you will notice that it is not the earliest post listed – this is because I later aided numerous saved articles from earlier dates).

The site itself is still largely in the same format as when it was first started – I would however like to think that in that time many of the issues have moved forward. Perhaps one of the most significant steps forward is the opening of the New Acropolis Museum – something that finally put to rest the long standing argument that the Parthenon Marbles could not be returned because there would be nowhere to put them. During the past five years, there have been many high profile (& in a lot of cases unanticipated) restitutions of disputed artefacts, showing that the cultural climate has made a definite shift towards resolving such issues. There are still many cases that remain unresolved however – the first case mentioned on this site involved the British Museum & they continue to drag their heels at every step of the way, hiding behind legal obstacles & refusing to enter into serious debate on issues of restitution. They are far from the only such institution that takes this view, but in the eyes of many, they are one of the worst.

I hope that in the next five year, the situation will have changed again – that some of the world’s great museums will realise that to lead the way in the twenty-first century means taking a radically different approach from that taken by them in the previous two hundred years. The institutions that are first to define a new operational model need to step out & admit that times have changed – that the future of museums is going to be a different one to that which they have been used to – but that if handled correctly it can be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

November 29, 2009

Elginism on Flickr

Posted at 12:28 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

In addition to this site, for some time now it has been possible to follow Elginism on its associated Twitter feed & Facebook page. In an attempt to increase the multimedia aspects of the site, you can now also join Elginism’s Flickr photostream. At present the photostream consists of archive images – some of which I’ve already made available through other sources. In the coming months though I hope to further integrate these various aspects of the site so that they tie in more closely to the main site.

A youtube channel for Elginism will also be available soon.

View Elginism’s photostream on Flickr here.

Current photosets include:

November 25, 2009

The Agenda – Who really owns stolen and looted artefacts?

Posted at 4:32 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

As detailed before, the Press TV programme on Who really owns stolen and looted artefacts? has now been broadcast. Presented by Yvonne Ridley, guests on the panel included: Tim Schadla-Hall (Reader in Public Archaeology), Julian Radcliff (Chairman of the Art Loss Register), Dr Caroline Goodson (Birckbeck College, University of London) & Matthew Taylor (editor of Elginism.com).

Watch it online on the Press TV website, or view the embedded version below.

November 7, 2009

Elginism on Press TV – Who really owns stolen and looted artefacts?

Posted at 2:32 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events, Similar cases

Next week’s episode of The Agenda, a programme presented by Yvonne Ridley on Press TV is on the subject of Treasure: Who really owns stolen and looted artefacts?. I am appearing on the show, along with three other guests, to discuss various aspects of this issue. The programme isn’t specifically about the Parthenon Sculptures, but covers them along with many other similar cases.

The programme is on Friday 13th at 19:05 GMT for 55 minutes. If you are in the UK, Press TV is available on Sky Channel 515. It should also be available on satellite or cable in most other English speaking countries.

You can watch the channel live online here. You can also watch it after the show has been broadcast on this archive page for the programme.

September 15, 2009

Become a fan of Elginism on Facebook

Posted at 8:13 pm in Elgin Marbles

There is now a fan page for Elginism on Facebook.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you are a fan of the concept of Elginism & encourage looting and destruction of ancient sites – more that you support the aims of this site and its attempts to publicise restitution claims, in particular that of the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.

View the page and become a fan here.