Showing results 25 - 30 of 30 for the tag: Koh-i-Noor.

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I only recently came across it – explaining the fact that the information on the Louvre’s Egyptian Frescos is already out of date.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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July 22, 2009

Why all restitution cases should be treated on their own unique merits

Posted at 12:55 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The initial history of the Elgin Marbles in this article is over-charitable to Lord Elgin (who had for instance never visited Athens at the time that he instructed the removal of the sculptures from the Parthenon to start). The key point to consider though is that no precedent would necessarily be set by the reunification of the surviving Parthenon Sculptures in Athens. It has long been understood that in cases such as this, each case is assessed on its own strengths & weaknesses. No two restitution cases are identical. Not only do you have to consider how artefacts were acquired, but also the significance of the artefacts, their uniqueness, what they represent etc before any decision can be made. In the case of the Parthenon Marbles, there is a strong case, not least because they are fragmented parts of a whole. If the pages of a book were spread randomly between different locations, few would be able to argue that this was the best way that the book could be displayed.

Further to the whole argument of precedent though (which has been gone over many times by many people), surely doing an arguably right act now should not be stopped because you fear that doing what is morally right once may mean that you are then encouraged to make similar commitments again in the future?

From:
Dawn.com (Pakistan)

The debate over the Elgin marbles
By Irfan Husain
Wednesday, 22 Jul, 2009 | 08:48 AM PST

Ever since the end of the colonial era, countries whose cultural heritage was looted by European powers have been demanding the return of their treasures. And yet decades later, these priceless objects continue to fill the display areas of hundreds of museums, private collections and auction houses in the West.

Perhaps the longest outstanding claim has been for the return of the Elgin marbles from the British Museum to their home in Greece. This stunning collection was removed from its resting place in the Parthenon in Athens. Built 2,500 years ago on the Acropolis as a temple to honour the goddess Athena, the Parthenon served as a church for another thousand years before being converted into a mosque by the conquering Ottoman Turks who turned Greece into a province of their far-flung empire. It then fell into disuse and was a dilapidated ruin when Lord Elgin arrived in Constantinople as the British ambassador in the late 18th century.
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July 11, 2009

Why India should support the return of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 11:44 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The Elgin Marbles & what their return would represent is something that has implications for many people – not just Greeks, archaeologists & museum curators. Around the world are numerous restitution cases, each different in its own way, but each having a significance for the people involved. During the last year for instance, publicity has been generated by various artefacts from India that people would like returned (or even just an acknowledgement of the real ownership.

From:
Livemint

Why India should root for the return of the Elgin marbles
Manidipa Mandal – Thursday, July 09, 2009 1:25 PM

“Both sides stand on shaky ground,” prevaricates NYT critic Michael Kimmelman, in today’s Business of Life lead story.

The Greeks, never in fear of racial stereotyping, have been emphatic in their demands. (What’s to worry about? Everyone just knows they are the guys with the big weddings, the voluble chatter, the long community lunches, dinners and and dances, the quick and loud tempers a la Hollywood cabbies — and all that surprisingly, uncharacteristically subtle and contemplative, ancient art and literature, as well as balanced modern views on them.)
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March 6, 2009

Should Britain return the Koh-i-noor diamond?

Posted at 11:41 am in Similar cases

The Koh-i-noor diamond left India for Britain in 1850 as loot following a Sikh uprising. Since then there have been many calls for it to be returned.

From:
Times Blogs

March 03, 2009
Should Britain give the Koh-i-noor back to India?

It was reported yesterday that a descendant of Mahatma Gandhi has asked Britain to return the Koh-i-noor diamond to India, thereby adding it to a list of treasures which the UK is under pressure to restore to their original homes – most notably the Elgin Marbles. This also comes in a week when France has been asked to send back two bronzes from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent to Beijing, where they were originally looted from the Summer Palace.

The Koh-i-noor is an interesting case because it seems that almost from the moment it arrived in the UK there were doubts about its ownership. It was brought here in 1850 after the defeat of an uprising by the Sikhs in the Punjab, and was initially greeted as fair booty of war in this jingoistic leading article:
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March 3, 2009

Cai Mingchao and the Yves Saint Lauren sculptures

Posted at 10:12 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

More coverage of the peculiar ending to the current chapter of the row over the disputed Chinese artefacts auctioned from the collection of Yves Saint Lauren. Whether his actions were right or wrong, they have had great success in highlighting the problems that arise when items such as this are sold whilst their ownership is disputed.

From:
The Globe & Mail (Canada)

Bidder butts heads with Christie’s over looted art
MARK MACKINNON
Sources: BBC, CNN, Washington Times, McClatchy
March 3, 2009

BEIJING — For 150 years, the bronze heads of the rabbit and rat have passed from one rich Western owner to the next, symbols of what many Chinese consider a time of national humiliation.

Where they end up next remains in doubt after a Chinese collector says he won a controversial auction for the two 18th-century artworks last week in Paris, but refuses to pay the price, which is over $50-million.
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August 6, 2008

Who appoints the international community?

Posted at 1:40 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

I’ve argued in the past, that institutions such as the British Museum are being excessively presumptuous in their attempts to put themselves in the role of Universal Museum for the whole world – in effect, deciding what is best for everyone else.

This article looks at that issue & beyond it, to the way in which the international community is lead by a relatively small group of western nations, acting generally on what is best for them, rather than what is best for all parties involved in the discussion.

From:
Daily News (Sri Lanka)

Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Who appoints the ‘International Community?’
S. Pathiravitana

There was a time when newspapers used to have the figure of a man wearing a hat on his head which resembled the earth’s globe and was meant to signify World Opinion. This figure has now disappeared and newspapers refer instead to an ‘international community.’

Unlike the earlier figure which readily made you think of world opinion, the phrase which has replaced it restricts itself to an ‘international community.’
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