Showing results 49 - 60 of 90 for the tag: Kwame Opoku.

February 9, 2009

A response to Cuno’s views on the Encyclopaedic Museum

Posted at 8:41 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku responds to a recent piece by James Cuno about the benefits of Encyclopaedic Museums. David Gill has also responded to this article on his Blog.

From:
Afrikanet

A response to James Cuno
Druckansicht
Datum: 09.02.09 17:03
Kategorie: Welt

“Encyclopedic museums, like the British Museum or the Metropolitan Museum or the Art Institute of Chicago, serve as a force for understanding, tolerance, and the dissolution of ignorance and superstition about the world” James Cuno

The recent article by James-Cuno “Where-do-the-great-treasures-of-ancient-art-belong?” clearly demonstrates his unwillingness to take into account valid criticisms of his viewpoints. (1) This leads him to make statements which will no doubt be subject to further comments.
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January 25, 2009

A response to Alastair Bruce

Posted at 2:00 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku responds to the piece published earlier this month by Alastair Bruce – the great great great grandson of Lord Elgin.

From:
Afrikanet

Datum: 24.01.09 17:12
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Response to the great great great grandson of Lord Elgin

Alastair Bruce may have a filial duty in respect of the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles and no one can criticise him for that. (http://www.sharonwaxman.com) After all, we are not responsible for the deeds or misdeeds of our ancestors. What he should really not expect from the rest of us is to buy the argument that his Great Great Great Grandfather, Lord Elgin, “wanted to preserve them from the destruction they faced, at a time when war and local indifference was grinding away at the edifice.” This is a baseless argument which has been used by all those who have taken illegally or in a questionable manner, the cultural objects of others. It is an extremely weak argument which does not gain credibility by being repeated often. Who preserved these objects before his Great Great Great Grandfather ever set foot in Athens?
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January 20, 2009

Universal museums & selective hearing

Posted at 2:30 pm in Similar cases

Returning of looted artefacts can often be seen simultaneously as a good thing & a bad thing by the same party, depending on what side of the argument they are on.

From:
Modern Ghana

Thomas Gaetgens on “Challenging the Encyclopaedic Museum – Berlin’s Museum Island” at the Art Institute of Chicago.
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Mon, 19 Jan 2009

I listened with great interest to the lecture by Thomas Gaehtgens on Challenging the Encyclopedic Museum – Berlin’s Museum Island at the Art Institute of Chicago.

His performance was quite remarkable. Even though he mentioned that the Russians had taken away artworks from Germany and that this constituted a problem between the two countries, he was silent about the artworks that the Germans had taken from other countries, such as Poland and the Benin Bronzes stolen from Nigeria by the British and sold to the Germans. Did these not constitute a problem for the Germans and for the “universal museum” or the “encyclopaedic museum” about which he spoke so eloquently? Obviously, he wasted no time on Nazi-looted art. Are the museums in Berlin not confronted with this problem?
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January 14, 2009

Should all looted artefacts be returned?

Posted at 1:12 pm in Similar cases

A response to Norman Rosenthal’s statements about why museums should not return artefacts looted during the holocaust.

From:
Modern Ghana

RESPONSE TO JONATHAN JONES: “SHOULD ALL LOOTED ART BE RETURNED”?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Tue, 13 Jan 2009
Feature Article

“The public interest must surely be in upholding the rule of law, rather than promoting an international free-for-all through the unrestricted circulation of tainted works of art. Do we really wish to educate our children to have no respect for history, legality and ethical values by providing museums with the opportunity freely to exhibit stolen property? ”
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January 10, 2009

Africa needs it’s cultural artefacts more than the West

Posted at 1:52 pm in Similar cases

Whilst some argue that Africa is not yet ready to receive returned artefacts, Kwame Opoku argues that the original owners will derive more importance from these sculptures than the West can.

From:
Afrikanet

Datum: 10.01.09 15:03
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Africans need their cultural objects more than Europeans & Americans

My attention has been drawn to an interesting article entitled “Looted memorial statues returned to Kenyan family” (Text as pdf file to downlad at the end of this article) by Monica Udvardy and Linda Giles which appeared in SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone) that demonstrates in an abundant way the above title which in a normal world would be self-evident but in the world of antiquities appears to be contested by some Western European and US American writers; they even argue that Africans are not yet ready or developed enough to recover their cultural objects which were stolen/looted by Europeans and are now adorning Western museums or are in depots.
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January 4, 2009

The rebranding of nationalism as internationalism

Posted at 1:52 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku reponds to the news that Neil MacGregor has been named Briton of the Year by The Times.

From:
Modern Ghana

CAN NATIONALISM BE SOLD AS INTERNATIONALISM VIA THE BRITISH MUSEUM? SANCTIFICATION OF BRITISH SPOLIATIONS AND LOOT
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
03 January 2009

The choice of a personality as “Briton of the year” is clearly a matter for British nationalists and a non-Briton has no business examining the basis of such a choice. It is up to the British to indulge in such a game if they consider it worthwhile. However when a leading British newspaper, The Times, making such a designation for the first time, writes in this connection that the “British Museum is the best in the world”, that it is a museum for the world and refers to an “international society” and “global society”, calls its director whom it has selected as Briton of the year”, “Saint Neil” and declares that “his most profound belief is that the British Museum was established for the benefit of all nations”, then non-Britons are provoked to comment.

The respectable British newspaper is repeating what it must know to be incorrect, namely that the British Museum is there for the world or humanity.
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December 14, 2008

When will Western museums return their looted artefacts?

Posted at 1:56 pm in Similar cases

Kwame Opoku talks about the accusations from museums that there is no formal demand for the return of artefacts – when in many cases there is a demand, but the institution would prefer to ignore it or not acknowledge it as a formal request.

From:
Afrikanet

Will western Museums now return some of the looted/stolen artefacts?
Datum: 14.12.08 21:46
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst

Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku

FORMAL DEMAND FOR THE RETURN OF BENIN BRONZES: WILL WESTERN MUSEUMS NOW RETURN SOME OF THE LOOTED/STOLEN BENIN ARTEFACTS?

“The restitution of those cultural objects which our museums and collections, directly or indirectly, possess thanks to the colonial system and are now being demanded, must also not be postponed with cheap arguments and tricks.”
Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause (1)

We have often heard from those holding on to the looted/stolen Benin artefacts that there has not been any demand for their return by the owners. This is, of course, a blatant lie which often reminds one of an absurd theatre piece. A performer states clearly a view point and immediately thereafter, another character tells the audience that so far no such statement has been made. We have the remarkable situation in which the King of Benin, the Oba, writes in an introductory note in the catalogue of the exhibition Benin: Kings and Rituals -Court Arts from Nigeria requesting the return of some of the Benin cultural artefacts. Almost immediately thereafter, we have directors of four museums organizing the exhibition with the co-operation of Nigeria declaring in a preface that they have no intention of returning these objects and advising the Nigerians to forget the past and look to the future. (2) The Benin demand was also stated by the Enogie of Obazuwa, brother of the Oba, at the opening of the exhibition on 9 May 2008. Some months after the exhibition in Vienna, the show which went to Paris (October 2, 2007-January 6, 2008) moved to Berlin (February 7-May 25, 2008) and we had people from the Berlin Ethnology Museum creating the impression that there had been no request for the return of the Benin bronzes even though at the opening of the exhibition, the Nigerian Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Prince Adetokumbo Kayode, had clearly stated the wish of the Nigerians to have back their cultural objects. (3) What kind of game is this?
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December 6, 2008

Ethiopia’s restitution demands

Posted at 1:47 pm in Similar cases

Following Ethiopia’s demands for the return of looted artefacts currently in Britain, Kwame Opoku loks at what this demand means for Ethiopia & other countries.

From:
Afrikanet

Datum: 05.12.08 11:15
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Ethiopia: The Way in Demand for Restitution of African Artefacts
Ethiopian President shows the Way in Demand for Restitution of African Artefacts

According to a report in The Independent of 23 November, 2008, the Ethiopian President, Girma Wolde-Giorgis, has requested British museums holding stolen/looted Ethiopian cultural treasures to return them.

This is not surprising considering the enormous amount of Ethiopian cultural and historical objects that are in several British museums and universities. The real wonder is that these venerable institutions, including the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and others, have not found it necessary in all these years to return the objects which were not made for the British but for the Ethiopians. What kind of message are these learned institutions sending to their students and the rest of the world? They do not seem to be worried that by holding on to these stolen goods they are not only violating the proprietary rights of others but also their religious rights and their right to cultural development. How can they properly practice their religion when their religious objects and symbols are kept by others with whom they have no cultural affinities, thousands of miles away? We have not found an explanation for how those who consider themselves as Christians can steal the religious symbols and objects such as Christian crosses from other Christians? Where is their morality in holding on to stolen religious symbols and objects?
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October 21, 2008

Why looted artefacts should be returned

Posted at 12:36 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku comments on yesterday’s news, that after sixty years, if may become legally possible for Britain’s national museums to return some artefacts that are known to have been taken illegally.

From:
Modern Ghana

WILL BRITAIN JOIN OTHER NATIONS IN RETURNING STOLEN/LOOTED ARTWORKS TO THE RIGHTFUL OWNERS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Mon, 20 Oct 2008

It looks as if Britain is finally coming to the conclusion that stolen/looted cultural objects should be returned to their rightful owners. According to a report in the Telegraph, new legislation is on the way to allow the British Museum and other national museums to return artworks that were stolen/looted by the Nazis. The legislation will be specifically limited to works stolen/looted during the Nazi era that are now in the possession of many British national galleries and museum. The position until now has been that even if one had all the necessary evidence that a particular piece of work hanging in the British institutions was stolen, confiscated by the Nazis or sold under intimidation to the evil men of Hitler, they could not return them to the owners. They could offer compensation to the owners.
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October 20, 2008

More demands for the restitution off looted benin artefacts

Posted at 6:47 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As each day goes by, more & more demands are made for the reunification of looted artefacts. Many institutions continue to ignore such issues, hoping that they will go away – whilst rather than disappearing the campaigns are getting stronger with each day that they are ignored.

From:
Modern Ghana

MORE DEMANDS FOR THE RESTITUTION OF STOLEN/LOOTED BENIN ARTEFACTS

Hardly a day passes by without some call for the return of the stolen cultural objects of Benin. In the whole of Africa people are incensed when they hear about the unjustified invasion of Benin by the British in 1897 and above all, the looting and burning of Benin City. Most Africans cannot believe that the Europeans who preached Christian morality could at the same time have been involved in stealing cultural objects of Africans, who according to European propaganda had an inferior culture. Many an African is even more infuriated to realize that the so-called primitive objects are on show in respectable museums in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France that refuse to contemplate the return of these objects. One starts wondering about the relations between the museums and the plunderers.
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October 18, 2008

What can be learnt from the Egyptian approach to restitution

Posted at 2:05 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass has championed the cause of cultural property restitution in Egypt in recent years. What can other countries learn from his approach?

From:
Afrikanet

Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 17 October 2008
SHALL WE LEARN FROM ZAHI HAWASS ON HOW TO RECOVER STOLEN/LOOTED CULTURAL OBJECTS?

We may not all agree with Zahi Hawass in his style and manner of approach to the issue of restitution of stolen or looted artefacts but there is no denying that the famous Egyptologist, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, has been extremely effective in his tasks and knows his job. This is no mean feat in a period where some of those having the fate of millions in their hands do not seem to have mastered their jobs.
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October 10, 2008

What benefit does Africa get from collaboration in international exhibitions

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

In today’s globalised climate of art exhibitions drawing artefacts from around the world, much is made of the benefits to everyone of sourcing these pieces that might otherwise have not been seen. Is this something that really benefits the source communities though, or is it more of a one way process?

From:
Modern Ghana

DOES COLLABORATION BETWEEN NIGERIAN AND EUROPEAN /AMERICAN MUSEUMS BRING US CLOSER TO RESTITUTION OF NIGERIA’S STOLEN/LOOTED ARTS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sat, 08 Nov 2008

As readers may know, many Africans are very suspicious of collaboration with museums and institutions that have shown by their history and practice that they do not care much for the interest and feelings of Nigerians and Africans generally. In the article below by Tajudeen Sowole, a Nigerian art critic raises several issues concerning the cooperation between Nigerian museums and institutions with European/American museums. In particular, he wonders whether the collaboration between the Nigerian institutions and American/European museums in the recent exhibition Benin: Kings and Rituals-Court Arts from Nigeria has brought us closer to the restitution of the Benin artifacts or whether these objects will remain in Europe under the pretext that they are part of the universal heritage of mankind.
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