Showing results 13 - 21 of 21 for the tag: Elginism.

July 23, 2009

Follow Elginism on Twitter

Posted at 12:54 pm in Elgin Marbles

For people who are using Twitter to keep up to date with news, Elginism is now on Twitter. All posts here would be linked to, but I will also try to add other items of information – either breaking news that I don’t have time to create a full blog post for, or links to other relevant articles.

You can of course continue to view Elginism in the normal way here.

Click here to follow Elginism on Twitter.

July 10, 2009

Guardian Elgin Marbles poll results

Posted at 12:49 pm in Elgin Marbles

The poll I mentioned last week in the Guardian has closed now & the results have been published.

Whichever way you look at it it shows a resounding level of support for re reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

This website also gets a mention – so quite a few people must have followed the link from it & voted. I’m not sure that I’d describe this site as Elginist – more anti-Elginist.


How G2’s Parthenon marbles poll went global
Aida Edemariam
Wednesday 8 July 2009

Best-read lists on websites are disconcertingly revealing things. In a week where the Guardian’s list might have been dominated by, say, Michael Jackson’s demise or the demonstrations in Iran, one small element of our arts coverage persistently ranked in the top-two best-read pieces on the site: a poll that asked, simply, “Is it time to return the Parthenon marbles?” No fewer than 380,000 people clicked on it, and an unprecedented 129,974 felt strongly enough to vote – an overwhelming 94.8% voting yes, and a puny 5.2% voting no.

Now, the Parthenon marbles aren’t exactly breaking news: Lord Elgin began removing them from Greece in 1801. True, the new Parthenon museum had just opened, with its pointed gaps where the missing marbles ought to go – but still. The opening of even the snazziest of museums can’t usually compete with one of the biggest celebrity exits in the obituaries calendar. Or the biggest demonstration in Iran since the fall of the Shah.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 3, 2009

World Have Your Say

Posted at 10:21 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The BBC World Service had an interesting program about disputed items of cultural property, prompted by the fiasco surrounding the auction of artefacts from Yves Saint Lauren’s collection & the imminent sale of some personal items that belonged to Mahatma Gandhi. A number of other cases were also discussed during the programme. I appeared on it briefly & this website also got a mention.

You can download a podcast of the programme here.

BBC World Service

02 Mar 09
On air: Should lost national treasures be returned?
By Ros Atkins

A Chinese bidder has refused to pay up over 30 million dollars that he successfully bid for two sculptures taken from Beijing in the 19th century. He’s being hailed as a hero in China, and it’s once again raised the issue of who owns items taken during past wars or colonial rule.

Recent examples….The Cleveland Museum of Art agreed to return 13 antiquities and a late Gothic processional cross to Italy after authorities there proved the works were looted, stolen or handled by traffickers. So does the time elapsed make a difference as to whether something should be returned – or indeed the way in which it was taken? A stolen greek vase was also returned to Italy.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 25, 2008

Stolen fourteenth century Greek icon is returned

Posted at 2:13 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage of the return of a looted Byzantine icon to Greece following successful legal action earlier this year.


Britain Returns Stolen Byzantine Icon to Greece
Published: November 20, 2008

ATHENS—Britain has returned a 14th-century Byzantine icon painting stolen from a Greek monastery 30 years ago, BBC News reports. The painting, which is valued at £1 million ($1.4 million), depicts Jesus being lowered from the cross. It was commissioned 700 years ago for the St. John the Baptist monastery in Serres, in northern Greece, and hung there until 1978, when thieves cut it into six pieces and smuggled it out of the country.

In 2002, British police recovered the icon after it was offered for sale by a London-based Greek art collector. The seller failed to provide proof of ownership, prompting the High Court in London to order the painting’s return. An appeal by the seller was dismissed.
Read the rest of this entry »

Byzantine icon returns to Greece

Posted at 2:09 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage on the return of a religious icon to Greece – after a thirty year battle. As expected, the British Museum feels the need to disassociate any return from the Elgin Marbles debate.

The Guardian

After 30 years, Greece welcomes back stolen icon
Detective work and British judges close case of missing Byzantine masterpiece
Helena Smith in Athens, Thursday November 20 2008 00.01 GMT
The Guardian, Thursday November 20 2008

A stolen icon, considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine art, was back in Greece yesterday after decades of police work, diplomacy and, finally, a key ruling by the high court in London.

The recovery of the piece, believed to have been painted by a master iconographer in the 14th century and depicting the removal of Christ’s body from the cross, came 30 years after it was stolen from a monastery in northern Greece.
Read the rest of this entry »

Britain returns stolen Greek icon

Posted at 2:01 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

A religious icon stolen 30 years ago from a Greek monastery has been returned following a British court ruling earlier this year. I’m mused to see the use of the word Elginism at the end of the article.

World Bulletin

Britain returns stolen Byzantine icon to Greece
The painting of Christ being taken down from the Cross was snatched from a monastery in the city of Serres in 1978 and discovered in 2002.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 16:15

Britain returned a 14th century Byzantine icon to Greek authorities on Wednesday, 30 years after it was stolen from a monastery in northern Greece, the Culture Ministry said.

The painting of Christ being taken down from the Cross was snatched from a monastery in the city of Serres in 1978 and discovered in 2002 in the hands of a Greek collector in London.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 16, 2008

Support this site

Posted at 7:54 pm in

Although I have affiliations with various pre-reunification (of the Parthenon Sculptures) organisations, this site is run directly by me, with no funding from outside organisations. I pay for the web hosting & spend large amounts of time locating, sorting through & explaining the relevance of the press articles that are collated here.

I am entirely happy producing the site for free use by anyone – I think that educating people about the issue is the key to making them understanding the importance of the case. I am also aware that many people regularly refer to this site to research cultural property restitution cases, in particularly that of the Elgin Marbles.

I am not asking for help from anyone, but if you have found this site useful & would like to help support it, I am providing a Pay Pal link below, as well as a link to my wishlist on Amazon of books relating to the issues discussed on this site. The same applies if you have used one of the WordPress plugins that I developed for this site, which are released under the GPL.

Note that there is a separate page, that details how you can support one of the campaigns for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.

Click on the Donate button below and you will be directed to Paypal where you can make your donation and you don’t have to have a Paypal account.

You can view my wishlist on Amazon here.

August 3, 2008

Elginism on Facebook

Posted at 11:36 am in Elgin Marbles

Blogs can now be added to Facebook. You can add yourself as a reader of Elginism here.

It might be worth at this point also explaining (following various queries from people), what the link on the left hand side of the main page of this website saying Entries RSS is for. This link is actually a very handy way of keeping track of what has been posted on this website (or for that matter on others, as many sites now have this feature). The RSS link leads you to a news feed (essentially the text of the posts, without all the formatting & site surrounding them). The clever part though, is that there are various programs that can download the new items from the site, so that you don’t have to keep going back to it to see if there is anything new.

I won’t try & explain all the details of how to use it here – the BBC’s website has a good tutorial on the subject. Websites such as Bloglines allow you to look at a variety of new feeds online without having to add a separate program for viewing them.

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.