Showing results 37 - 48 of 74 for the tag: Italy.

October 19, 2010

Is Michelangelo’s David owned by Florence or by Italy?

Posted at 8:05 pm in Similar cases

Although they are not necessarily as high profile as international cultural property disputes, there are many intra-national cases where the both parties involved in the dispute are in the same country. Why this particular dispute has suddenly erupted now probably has a lot more to do with the politics of Berlusconi, along with a need for Rome to exert ownership of the who country than it does about the actual location where Michelangelo’s David is displayed (which as far as I am aware, is not being disputed).

From:
The Guardian

Italian government battles with Florence for Michelangelo’s David
Government lawyers produce nine page document as ‘conclusive’ proof that the sculpture belongs to the state
Tom Kington
Sunday 15 August 2010 21.22 BST

A fierce row has erupted over the ownership of Michelangelo’s David between the Italian state and Florence, the city where the masterpiece is on display.

A symbol of the Florentine Republic’s defiance of its enemies, including Rome, when erected in 1504 at the entrance to Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall, Michelangelo’s portrayal of the slayer of Goliath has remained a mascot for proud locals long after the unification of Italy.
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August 17, 2010

Loot from Giacomo Medici’s warehouse up for auction?

Posted at 2:08 pm in Similar cases

Much of Italy’s recent success in restitution claims against institutions in the USA stems from the raids on the Geneva warehouse of Giacomo Medici. It now seems that other artefacts seen in photographs seized in the raids are now coming up for auction.

From:
New York Observer

Digging Up the Past
By Michael H. Miller
May 25, 2010 | 3:17 p.m

In June 1964, a group of fishermen off the northern Adriatic coast pulled a dull gray mass, shaped like a man, covered in barnacles, out of the water. It was the statue now known as Victorious Youth, believed to be the work of Lysippus-Alexander the Great’s personal sculptor. The fishermen took the statue ashore and sold it, cheap. It changed hands many times after that, quietly, until 1977, when the J. Paul Getty Trust purchased it for a then-record sum of $4 million from a Munich art dealer. In February 2010, Italy won a lawsuit in Italian court against the Los Angeles museum, demanding the statue’s return. The Getty, appealing, has yet to comply, arguing it was a Greek statue found in international waters.
Victorious Youth is far from the only masterpiece in limbo-or in court. As million-dollar antiquities auctions (and a controversy surrounding them) kick off in in New York the week of June 6, never has the tension between collector, dealer and so-called “source” nation been higher. Late last week, Germany’s Foreign Minister formally spurned Egypt’s request for the return of the 3,000-year-old Bust of Nefertiti that sits in a Berlin Museum; three months ago Egypt hosted an international conference demanding the return of the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum, which has had it for 200 years. There are ongoing legal battles and new, or louder, claims from Turkey, China and Greece for the return of items. But Italy has been the most aggressive, successfully demanding the return of objects from both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty. (The Getty has returned 39 disputed objects to Italy since 2006, and isn’t finished, according to the museum’s general counsel, Stephen Clark.) Such disputes have pulled in collectors and chilled the climate for buying certain works, regardless of quality, dealers and auctioneers report. Now, three pricey ancient Greek items up for sale at Christie’s next month threaten to become a part of the messy, murky issues clouding the market.
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June 7, 2010

Zahi Hawass will make “life miserable” for museums that hang onto disputed artefacts

Posted at 9:00 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

At the conclusion of the conference in Egypt on the restitution of looted artefacts, Zahi Hawass re-iterated a point that he has made in the past, that Museums that he has the power to make life very difficult for institutions that refuse to co-operate to try & resolve cases involving disputed artefacts.

From:
Bloomberg News

Egypt’s Hawass Sees ‘Miserable Life’ for Museums With Relics
By Daniel Williams

April 8 (Bloomberg) — Egypt’s chief antiquities administrator wrapped up a two-day conference among countries that want valuable relics held abroad returned by threatening to make “life miserable” for museums that keep them.

“We will decide together what to do,” said Zahi Hawass, who heads the Supreme Council of Antiquities, at the end of the Cairo conference that attracted 16 delegates and nine observers from abroad. “We will make life miserable for museums that refuse to repatriate.”
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June 6, 2010

UK accused of selling looted treasures to pay tax bill

Posted at 9:31 pm in Similar cases

The British government is causing controversy by ordering various artefacts to be sold by liquidators to pay the tax bill of collector Robin Symes, despite the fact that, with no export licenses, it is likely that these artefacts were illegally looted from Italy.

From:
The Guardian

UK accused over sale of ‘looted’ Italian treasures to pay tax bill
Rome wants back the 3,000-year-old Etruscan artefacts that came into the hands of a dealer – but ministers aim to sell them
Dalya Alberge
Sunday 11 April 2010

Ministers have been condemned for forcing through the sale of up to 1,000 antiquities allegedly stolen from Italy, in order to pay the debts of a bankrupt private collector.

The Home Office has sparked outrage by allowing Roman bronzes, Etruscan gold and other treasures to be placed on the market by liquidators acting for the government in an attempt to recover unpaid taxes from the former owner, Robin Symes, a dealer with alleged links to the smuggling trade and a UK prison record.
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May 23, 2010

Egyptian conference on disputed antiquities

Posted at 12:07 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Egypt is holding a conference on stolen & looted antiquities, bringing together representatives from many of the nations that are requesting returns. Hopefully, many other countries can learn from some of Egypt’s recent successes in this field.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 01:23 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 02:23 UK
Egypt hosts meeting on recovery of ‘stolen treasures’

Global culture officials are to meet to discuss how to recover ancient treasures which they say have been stolen and displayed overseas.

Sixteen countries will be represented at the two-day conference in Cairo.
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May 14, 2010

Parthenon frieze fragment returns to Palermo

Posted at 12:44 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Although it was always agreed that the Parthenon Frieze fragment from Palermo was being loaned to Greece for a limited period, it was always hoped that this loan might be extended, or in some way made semi-permanent. Unfortunately it appears that this was not the case however.

One positive side to this though is it weakens one of the arguments from the British Museum for rejecting the possibility of loans to the New Acropolis Museum – That they only loan items that they expect to be safely returned at the end of the loan period.

Hopefully Italy will see the benefits of returning the fragment permanently at some point in the future.

From:
ANSA (Italy)

CULTURE: PARTHENON FRIEZE FRAGMENT RETURNS TO PALERMO

(ANSAmed) – PALERMO – A ship sailing from Naples has brought a fragment of the Parthenon’s frieze back from Athens where it has been on show since September 2008. The find had first been housed at the city’s old Museum of Archaeology, where it was visited by Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano, before being transferred to the new Acropolis Museum. The art treasure, a piece of stone measuring 34 by 35 centimetres, is being kept in Palermo in a double strong box before being returned to the region’s ‘Antonino Salinas’ archaeological museum, where it has been an exhibit for over a century. The stone is a fragment of Phidias’ eastern frieze of the Parthenon and features a foot of Peitho, the Greek goddess of persuasion. The piece had been part of the collection of a British diplomat before it was donated by his widow to the University of Palermo in 1836; it then passed into the collection of Palermo’s National Museum when it was founded in the second half of the 19thcentury. The fragment will be on view when the Antonino Salinas Museum reopens. (ANSAmed).

February 20, 2010

Ten famous cases of disputed artefacts in museums

Posted at 10:17 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Among the vast numbers of disputed artefacts in museums & galleries, some have a high profile, whilst others are barely known. Time Magazine has attempted to draw up a list of what they feel are some of the most currently significant cases.

This article was published a few months ago, but I only recently came across it – explaining the fact that the information on the Louvre’s Egyptian Frescos is already out of date.

From:
Time

Top 10 Plundered Artifacts
History is big business. Plundered art and antiquities trade to the tune of at least $3 billion a year, much to the chagrin of nations struggling to reclaim their lost artifacts. In honor of a recent spat between the Egyptian government and the Louvre museum in Paris over the fate of fresco fragments, TIME examines 10 plundered antiquities and the conflicts they’ve created.

The Louvre’s Egyptian Frescos

A set of ancient fresco fragments is at the center of a nasty feud between Paris’s Louvre Museum and the Egyptian government. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s antiquities department, claims the Louvre bought the fragments last year despite knowing they were taken from a tomb in Egypt’s storied Valley of the Kings in the 1980s, a prime spot for grave-robbers. Egypt, which has made reclaiming ancient art taken from its country a top priority, said they would sever cooperation with the Louvre unless the fragments were returned. A museum representative claimed on Oct. 7 that the Louvre was unaware the fragments were stolen, and said the museum would consider sending the fresco pieces back to Egypt.
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Three different viewpoints on museums and restitution

Posted at 7:56 pm in Similar cases

The journal of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, the Museological Review, has chosen to focus their most recent edition on the issues surrounding museums, deaccessioning & restitution.

In the first piece, Clare Blakey writes about some of the restitution demands made by Italy to the Getty Museum & the Metropolitan Museum in the USA.

The second article by Jennifer Jankauskas examines some of the ethical concerns which underpin the issue of deacccessioning in American Art Museums.

Finale, Dietrich Heißenbüttel takes a look at German art from the 1930s & 1940s, arguing for museums to take a different approach to restitution demands.

You can read the entire magazine online here.

December 8, 2009

Benevento Missal to return under new Nazi loot law

Posted at 2:08 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Benevento Missal is likely to be the first artefact to be returned under the new Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Act. This is an interesting case, as it was one of the pointers that highlighted that a chance in the law was necessary. The British Library returned it – but only as a permanent loan, as the law would not allow them to transfer ownership rights. It is also interesting though that the first case highlights the major loophole created by the new law. Because of the difficulty in proving that artefacts were looted specifically by the Nazis, the law instead covers any art looted during that time period – with the assumption that such cases will typically relate to the Holocaust. In the case of the Missal though, there is no specific evidence to tie its removal from Italy to Britain to the Nazis. This fact was highlighted by the Marbles Reunited campaign in a submission to a consultation in 2006 by the DCMS Select Committee. Whilst such returns are admirable, the inconsistencies in the law & piecemeal legislation only serve to highlight that large institutions will not step back & look objectively at restitution issues as a whole, rather than picking bits out here & there, to try & appease people while most cases remain un-discussed.

From:
The Times

December 1, 2009
British Library to return Benevento Missal under Nazi loot law
Ben Hoyle, Arts Correspondent

A medieval book is to become the first item from a British national museum to be returned to its rightful owners under a new law governing looted artefacts.

The Benevento Missal, which was stolen from a cathedral in southern Italy soon after the Allies bombed the city during the Second World War, has been in the collection of the British Library (formerly the British Museum Library) since 1947. After a change in the law, it could be back in Italy within months, according to The Art Newspaper.
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November 5, 2009

Pakistan’s ministry of culture awaiting the return of 290 artefacts

Posted at 7:04 pm in Similar cases

Two years ago, large numbers of looted artefacts from Pakistan were seized in the UK & Italy. Agreements have been made for their return, but various constraints mean that this has still not taken place. Such returns represent a major victory in the battle against modern day smugglers of illegal antiquities, although efforts must also be made to now track down more of the chain of people involved to stop such crimes occurring initially.

From:
The News (Pakistan)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Ministry awaits return of 290 stolen artefacts
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Islamabad

The Ministry of Culture is endeavouring for return of over 290 stolen artefacts from Italy and UK that were recovered two years back.

Official sources in the ministry told APP that some 198 priceless objects were recovered from the UK and these 4,000 years old pottery items were handed over to the British Museum which identified these belonging to Pakistan origin.
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May 14, 2009

Colosseum fragment returned by tourists

Posted at 10:09 pm in Similar cases

The interesting aspect of this story is the fact that the general public seem willing to make entirely voluntary returns of fragments from ancient sites – they realise themselves that removing the pieces was the wrong thing to do. Unfortunately most museums seem reluctant to take similar actions without large amounts of coercion.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 15:22 UK
Tourists return chip of Colosseum

Two US tourists who chipped off a piece of the Colosseum in Rome 25 years ago have returned it – along with an apology for taking it.

The fragment of stone, small enough to fit into a pocket, arrived in Italy in a package from California.
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March 25, 2009

Greece returns smuggled murals to Italy

Posted at 2:04 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

For some time now, Greek & Italian authorities have been co-operating to secure the return of looted artefacts whilst avoiding their own internal disputes over claims being an issue. This is another example of results stemming from these efforts to present a united front to recover antiquities that have been removed from their countries of origin.

From:
Reuters

Greece returns 13th century murals to Italy
Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:23pm IST

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has returned to Italy two murals smuggled from an Italian church more than 20 years ago, the Culture Ministry said Tuesday.

The frescoes dating to the 13th century were seized from the church in the southern region of Campania, in 1982. Greek police found them in 2006 on a small island in the southern Aegean during an anti-smuggling mission.
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