Showing results 37 - 48 of 103 for the tag: Legal action.

February 16, 2014

Promakhos trailer – a fight for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 11:57 pm in Elgin Marbles

Just a few days after I last wrote about the filming of Promakhos, one of the directors got in touch with me, to let me know that the first trailer of the film had now been posted online.

The film is about a legal challenge over the Parthenon Marbles. This is an interesting dimension to the issue, as it is something that has often been raised as a possibility by campaigners & very credible cases have been put forward by a number of high profile lawyers (not least the father of the directors of this movie), but it has always been something that the Greek government has steered well clear of having any involvement with.

Having read the script a couple of years ago, I’m very eager to see the completed film once it is out later this year.

February 6, 2014

Promakhos – a movie about the Parthenon Marbles, Justice & Greece

Posted at 2:15 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

John Vorhees is an US based lawyer who I have known for a number of years now as a campaigner for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.

Last year, he introduced me to his sons John & Coerte, explaining that they intended to make a film about the reunification of the sculptures and were looking for actors to fill the lead roles.

Filming on the project started last month in Athens, for what promises to be a very interesting film, highlighting one approach that could be taken to handle the restitution of the sculptures.

Promotional image for the Promakhos movie

Promotional image for the Promakhos movie

You can view the website for the film here. For the most up to date information, follow the facebook page that they have created for the film.

More information about the cast is available on IMDB.

View the trailer for the movie in a separate later post I made here.

October 20, 2013

A report from the Roundtable on the Parthenon Marbles held in Brussels.

Posted at 12:34 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, International Association, Marbles Reunited, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

In addition to the articles I posted earlier, Marbles Reunited has written a report on the event held in Brussels earlier this week, and Tom Flynn has also posted a transcript of his talk.

The report that follows is based on my notes taken during the event. I have not tried to capture everything, just the key points. I am hoping that my comments do not misrepresent what the speakers were saying – some it was from the live translation there, and some of it was from the responses to questions afterwards, rather than from the original speeches.

After introductions by Krister Kumlin & a brief video, Tom Flynn was the first speaker, and pointed out, that when considering the acquisition of obviously looted artefacts “Most museums now know better”. The thing is of course, how to get museums to act retrospectively – to apply the rules that they would use now to actions that they made well before their current rules and guidelines came into force.

He also added, that “Nowadays, the social network acts as a critical filter to the acquisition of disputed artefacts”. This is a good point, as museums nowadays have a far greater interaction with the public than perhaps ever before. People’s opinions mean more to them than they ever used to, and as a result, it is important to let museums know if what you think they are doing is morally unacceptable.

German MEP Jo Leinen had a simple message – drawing on the words of another German politician, he quoted Willie Brandt “we have to unite what belongs together”.

The Spanish MEP, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez took a slightly different viewpoint from some of the other speakers, looking at this action by Britain, in the context of other actions that occur within Europe. He felt that it was particularly important that the countries of northern Europe, in some way recognise that although they might be economically the powerhouses of Europe today, they still owe so much culturally to the Mediterranean countries in the South of Europe. He stressed a message that Campaigns such as Marbles Reunited have also long emphasised, that “It is not about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens, but about reuniting them”.
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March 8, 2013

Turkey using Human Rights law in its attempts to secure artefact return

Posted at 8:54 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Most would agree that in recent years, Turkey has had a rather lacklustre record when it comes to human rights (at least for some sectors of its country). The country has recently been undertaking a vigorous drive to recover looted artefacts, although this too has not been without criticism.

Now, it seems that Turkey is taking the unusual step of trying to use the European Court of Human Rights as a mechanism to attempt to secure the return of disputed artefacts in the British Museum. It remains to be seen how successful this approach is & I imagine many other countries will be watching with interest.

From:
International Business Times

Turkey’s New Spin On Human Rights: They Can Be Used To Recover Art
By Ceylan Yeginsu | January 14 2013 2:01 PM

Turkey is one of the world’s richest countries when it comes to archeology. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and with a history of human habitation that dates back to the dawn of civilization, it’s especially rich in ancient Greek ruins that were created when the land that is now Turkey was known as Asia Minor, or Anatolia.

But many of those priceless relics aren’t in Turkey; they’re in Western museums. Now Turkey is trying a bold new tactic to recover them: It plans to use human rights law to get them back.
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March 6, 2013

Returning the lost Parthenon Marbles – lecture in Athens

Posted at 9:18 am in Elgin Marbles

This sounds like it was going to be an interesting lecture – unfortunately, I only discovered about it the day after it had taken place though.

Hopefully, they will put it on youtube at some point in the future.

From:
The Athens Centre

Lecture “Returning Lost Marbles’, by Ira Kaliampetsos

The Athens Centre would like to invite you to a guest lecture,
by Ira Kaliampetsos
Director of the Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology

“Returning Lost Marbles:
Antiquities Restitution and the Law”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 7:00pm

At The Athens Centre

Archimidous 48, Pangrati (Mets)

Wine and conversation follows the event. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 210-7015242 or 210-7012268.

Ira Kaliampetsos works as a lawyer in Athens. She earned her law degree from the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and continued her postgraduate studies on ‘Art and Law’ at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz, Austria. Her professional experience includes working for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a position she still holds), the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey and several assignments for election observation. In 2006 she co-founded the Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology (www.law-archaeology.gr), a non- profit organization dealing with all aspects of antiquities law – a field in which her law office specializes in. She is also a founding member of the Hellenic Wildlife Care Association, ANIMA (www.wild-anima.gr).

Event information is also available on our Facebook page.

Pictures of the event are available here.

How the Greeks might be able to secure the return of the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 9:10 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

I have to admit, that I’m fairly unconvinced by the plan presented in this book – but perhaps it is still better than having no plan. In my opinion, this particular proposal, draws on too many sources & makes too many slightly tenuous jumps to be seen as completely credible. At the end of the day, it does not come across to me as a clear concise argument that can be used to bring about restitution of the sculptures.

An interesting read nonetheless though.

From:
Neos Kosmos

How the Greeks can get their marbles back
The legal argument for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece
18 Oct 2012
Kathryn-Magnolia Feeley

The Parthenon Marbles will never be handed back to Greece on cultural grounds. That would upset the status quo of museums and collectors worldwide. But any reference of artefacts to present day religious significance sends tremors down the spine of curators of museums, as it would, undoubtedly encroach upon issues of Human Rights.

This must be the basis of the argument for Greece to regain the Parthenon Marbles. In 1801, Greece was under the occupation of the Turks. The Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time, bribed the Turks in order to get permission to hack away at the sculptures of the Parthenon. Elgin filled over 100 large packing cases with friezes, metopes and figures from the pediments and shipped them to England where they were sold to the British Museum in 1816 for £35,000 to pay his debts.
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February 28, 2013

The Court of the District of Columbia & the Chabad jews – a possible solution to the Parthenon Marbles case?

Posted at 2:29 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Paul Barford raises an interesting question on his blog, regarding a recent case in the USA. Essentially, the gist of the post relates back to an earlier story, about the fallout from a court case in the courts of the District of Columbia.

The case was brought by Chabad Jews, who have been campaigning for the return of two collections of books & manuscripts from Russia since the 1980s. They filed a lawsuit in 2004. In July 2010, the court ordered the Russia to return the library & archives to Chabad. At this point, Russia ignored the judgement. A month ago, on 16th January 2013, the same court sanctioned the Russian Government $50,00 per day for not complying with their ruling.

Since then, Russia’s foreign ministry has taken the retaliatory move, of recommending that two government agencies sue the US Library of Congress. If this case was to proceed, it would take place in a Russian court. It is taken against the Library of Congress, because through the inter-library loans programme (of which the LOC was the conduit), in 1994, seven books were lent to the Shabad group & never returned.

Russia has also taken the move of placing an embargo on any loans to museums in the USA, due to fears that artefacts will be seized.

Now, I’m not at all sure at this stage what the outcome of all this will be – but, the fact remains, that sanctions taken in a court outside the home country still have a potential to provoke a reaction.

Previously, I have been party to suggestions that a similar move could be taken by the Greek Government against the British Museum & the District of Columbia was mentioned as one possible jurisdiction under which this might take place. Now, I’m hoping that if it did take place, it would follower a calmer course than the current case, but it is indisputable, that the threat of legal action based on this precedent would be a strong incentive to negotiate.

Part of the problem with the Parthenon Marbles case, is that there has never been enough pressure placed against the British Museum / British Government. Essentially, they don’t feel that they currently have to respond to anything. If requests for negotiations are ever issued by Greece, these are closed out fairly quickly by laying down pre-conditions that Greece will never agree to – essentially asking them to give up something before the discussions can even start. Something needs to be done to show the British Museum that Greece means business – that the issue will not just go away.

Italy did not succeed in their requests against the US, until initiating legal action – although in many cases, the (serious) threat of legal action was eough to start off proper negotiations leading to the settlement i.e. it never actually went to court.

Clearly, in the case of the Chabad Jews (of which much more could be written), negotiating was off the agenda, as the case is being pursued to the bitter end, & looks like it could develop into a full blown diplomatic incident if one side doesn’t back down. Essentially (from the perspective of an outsider) they have taken a weapon & used it unwisely – and could end up blowing off their own feet in the process.

Notwithstanding the above point though, the fact remains – the legal route offers a path to negotiation & resolution of the case that has not yet been properly explored. Greece has tried the gentle discussions route for years & made little progress – so perhaps it is now time to take a different tack?

From:
The Art Newspaper

Russian agencies move to sue US Library of Congress
Threatened lawsuits could result in sanctions against the US, in retaliation for $50,000 per day penalties against Russia
By Laura Gilbert. Web only
Published online: 12 February 2013

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has recommended that two Russian government agencies sue the US Library of Congress, the news agency Pravda reported Friday. The move, seemingly in retaliation for US court-ordered sanctions against Russia costing $50,000 per day, is the latest twist in the ongoing dispute between the Brooklyn-based Jewish group Chabad and Russia.

Chabad has been trying to obtain two collections of Jewish books and manuscripts from Russia since the 1980s and filed a lawsuit in 2004. On 16 January, a Washington, DC District Court sanctioned the Russian government $50,000 per day because Russia had not followed the court’s July 2010 order to turn over the library and archive to Chabad. Shortly after the order, Russia initiated an embargo, which is still in effect, on lending art to American museums, claiming it feared Chabad would seize its art in order to enforce the judgment. American museums responded by refusing to loan art works to Russian institutions. Chabad, for its part, says it will not claim Russian art that is immune from seizure under US law but would enforce the judgment by seizing other Russian property in the US and through monetary sanctions.
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February 22, 2013

New legislation in Europe may help recovery of looted national treasures

Posted at 8:58 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

New legislation proposed by the European Commission may help EU member states to recover artefacts that they believe have been illegally removed from their country. The clear limitation though, is that this would only work when both countries are EU members – which instantly strikes the majority of high profile restitution cases off the list of ones covered by the legislation. Although, the Parthenon Marbles would of course be covered.

Until more details of the legislation are published, it is hard to guage what the actual impact of it might be.

From:
New Europe

New legislation to facilitate recovery of illegally removed national treasures
Article | February 19, 2013 – 1:52pm | By Elena Ralli

The European Commission is planning to help Member States recover national treasures which have been unlawfully removed from their territory by amending its current legislation that has several inadequacies. Consequently, the European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani proposed today to strengthen the possibility for restitution available to Member States.

As Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship stated: “Safeguarding the cultural heritage of all Member States is of major importance to the European Union. Our proposal is therefore necessary to further strengthen the effectiveness of the fight against illegal trafficking in cultural goods. The harmful effect on our national treasures represent a serious threat to the preservation of the origins and history of our civilization.”
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December 17, 2012

Turkish compaigners may go to European Court of Human Rights over Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in British Museum

Posted at 1:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Turkey is planning on taking the dispute over the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Currently in the British Museum) to the European Court of Human Rights. This follows on from Turkey’s aggressive campaigning in recent months against various museums holding artefacts from Turkey, where the ownership is disputed.

From:
Guardian

Turkey turns to human rights law to reclaim British Museum sculptures
Dalya Alberge
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 8 December 2012 19.29 GMT

Human rights legislation that has overturned the convictions of terrorists and rapists could now rob the British Museum of sculptures created for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

A Turkish challenge in the European court of human rights will be a test case for the repatriation of art from one nation to another, a potential disaster for the world’s museums.
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November 14, 2012

Why don’t we just sue the British Museum? A litigator’s perspective on the Elgin Marbles debate

Posted at 9:17 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Michael J Reppas, the chair of the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures has written a new book about how the issue of the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures might be approached from a legal perspective.

You can order it online from Barnes & Noble here. For some reason it doesn’t seem to be in Amazon’s catalog.

From:
Hellenic Communications Service

Book Release for Why Don’t We Just Sue the British Museum? A Litigator’s Perspective on the Elgin-Parthenon Marbles Debate by Michael J. Reppas, II, Esq.

Title: Why Don’t We Just Sue the British Museum? A Litigator’s Perspective on the Elgin-Parthenon Marbles Debate
Author: Michael J. Reppas, II, Esq.
Publisher: E-volve Publishing, LLC, 8004 NW 154h St. #214, Miami, FL 33016
Date of Publication: 2012
Language: English
ISBN: 978–0-9859755-0-0
Price: $29.99 (plus $3.50 S&H)
Description: 306pp softcover, incl. illus.
Availability: Website of The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc. (downloadable order form) at the URL http://www.parthenonmarblesusa.org/index.php/support-acrps/michael-j-reppas-new-book . All proceeds donated by author to The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc.

About the Book

Reppas skillfully crafts a trial for the return of the Marbles, with an impassioned Opening Statement, engaging trial transcript dialogue, introduction of exhibits and evidence, and Closing Statement.
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November 12, 2012

Revisiting S2212 – The flaws inherent in the Foreign Cultural Exchange Judicial Immunity Clarification Act

Posted at 7:03 pm in Similar cases

Nikki Georgopulos has written a very extensive piece for the Plundered Art blog about the man issues with Senate Bill S2212 (the Foreign Cultural Exchange Judicial Immunity Clarification Act). While the act gives the impression of helping the current situation, in reality it causes as many problems as it solves.

Her article is in two parts.

Part 1.

Part 2.

October 16, 2012

The legal arguments for the return of the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:36 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

If you talk to a group of lawyers who believe the return of the Elgin Marbles could be brought about by legal action (as I have done), and each one that you talk to will have a different idea of exactly how it can be achieved – in terms of which court, which jurisdiction, and which points form the basis of the case. One fact remains though – Italy argued for a long time with many of the big US museums for the return of looted artefacts – but only started to see any results once they had initiated legal proceedings against them. Whether or not legal action is aimed at winning the case in court, it can be a powerful tool for bringing people to the negotiating table with a more serious mindset – taking the case seriously rather than ignoring it in the hope that it will go away.

This new book by Greek Australian lawyer Kathryn-Magnolia Feeley gives her perspective on the legal issues involved.

From:
Greek Reporter

Feeley’s Legal Argument For the Return of the Greek Marbles
By Stella Tsolakidou on October 13, 2012 in News

Australian lawyer Kathryn-Magnolia Feeley offers her own approach to the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles from London to Athens. Her ideas will be officially launched Oct. 14 during her book presentation in Canberra.

The author of “How The Greeks Can Get Their Marbles Back- the legal argument for the return of the Parthenon Marbles ” is an expert on human rights law and has worked as an archaeologist in Greece before taking up her lawyer profession.
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