Showing results 37 - 48 of 336 for the tag: Looting.

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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Will Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts return disputed Benin Bronzes

Posted at 8:45 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts recently acquired a number of disputed Benin Artefacts. These items all relate to the ransacking of Benin by the British in 1897 & the transfer of their ownership to the museum has caused much controversy.

From:
SPY Ghana

Sun, Jan 6th, 2013
Will Boston Museum Of Fine Arts Return Looted Benin Bronzes?

By Ghana News -SpyGhana.com

“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? ”

Extract from a letter by several members of the British House of Lords. (1)

Readers may recall that when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA, recently acquired by donation a number of looted Benin artefacts, there was a large public outcry against this acquisition of blood antiquities by a leading and respected American museum. (2) The Nigerian Commission for Museums and Monuments demanded the immediate return of the looted objects. (3) Other writers also urged the return of these precious artefacts that the British had looted in a violent invasion of the flourishing Benin Kingdom in 1897. (4) Ligali, a Pan-Africanist activist group, wrote to the Boston museum requesting the return of the objects to their rightful owners. In his response to Ligali, the director of the Boston museum mentioned that his institution had informed the Oba of Benin of the acquisition. (5) An impression was thus created that the Benin Royal Family had acquiesced in the acquisition, and in any case, had not protested against it.
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March 7, 2013

Metal detectorists who looted ancient coins in UK given Anti Social Behavious Order

Posted at 2:08 pm in Similar cases

Metal detecting is a continual source of concern amongst archaeologists. While many famous discoveries have been made in this way, at the other end of the spectrum are reckless criminals who covertly ransack ancient sites with the sole intention of selling whatever they can find for personal gain.

From:
Daily Mail

Thieves who looted coins from ancient Roman site handed Britain’s first ASBO banning them from METAL DETECTING
Peter Cox and Darren West handed suspended sentences for theft
Caught digging up land on English Heritage site in Northamptonshire
By Hugo Gye
PUBLISHED: 15:41, 3 January 2013 | UPDATED: 07:37, 4 January 2013

Two thieves have become the first people in Britain to be handed ASBOs banning them from metal detecting.

Peter Cox and Darren West were given the unique punishment after they looted ancient coins from a Roman site belonging to English Heritage.
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Should holding onto looted artefacts give museums & countries an upper hand in negotiating?

Posted at 8:47 am in British Museum, Similar cases

I have to say that I completely disagree with the general approach that this article advocates – which could be summarised, as something like: Wealthy Museums of the West (along with the countries in which they are based) can now use their disputed artefacts as bargaining chips, to secure political / cultural changes in the countries of the original owners.

If somebody robs your house, should that then give them the upper hand in securing some form of change in your lifestyle, before agreeing to return the items that they took?

Quite what gives these museums the right to enforce change on countries in this way is unclear, other than being down to the fact that they were fortunate enough to know people dis-reputable enough to have managed to acquire the artefacts in the first place – hardly a great endorsement for their policies, or for taking the moral high ground.

From:
Whistleblower

Looted art – hostage or weapon against terror?
Exclusive: Marisa Martin suggests U.S. start using its diplomacy tool
Published: 12/12/2012 at 8:58 PM

Vikings stormed Britain, while Mongols left Bagdad a culture-free zone. Warlords came, saw and trashed all the books and statues while they were at it. Even now someone is whacking away at the ankles of a limestone Buddha in India or Bangladesh.

Have times changed for the better?

Napoleon revitalized looting trends by demanding art from conquered Italians and churches. Since then, the Captains of Genocide have handled the art of their victims differently, particularly the Nazis. Probably the most prolific war thieves ever, they discarded entire races whiles secreting their art in stashes all over the globe. Art Loss Register, an international database, lists 300,000 missing and stolen artworks with approximately 85 percent occurring before 1945, not coincidentally with the demise of the Nazis.
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March 6, 2013

Turkey versus the Met – challenging the Universal Museum

Posted at 4:48 pm in Similar cases

While many disagree with the concept of the Universal Museum, without an international legal framework in place, few challenges relating to pre-1970 acquisitions by such museums have yet been successful. The odd exceptions to this involve items such as Nazi loot, which are covered by different national laws in many countries.

Now, Turkey is putting pressure on the Met – not on recently acquired artefacts, but on items which left Turkey long before the 1970 cut off date. It will be interesting to see how much success they have with this – threats to withdraw cooperation have been criticised by the museums as blackmail – but it still represents a clear obstacle to the museums that must be negotiated around.

From:
Guardian

Turkey’s restitution dispute with the Met challenges the ‘universal museum’
Turkey is flexing its cultural, as well as its economic and military muscles. But objects of art outlive the ambitions of nation states
Jason Farago
Sunday 7 October 2012 14.00 BST

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, like most institutions of its size in the US and Europe, has seen its fair share of lawsuits and controversies surrounding its collection. It returned nearly two dozen antiquities to Italy in 2006, as well as work acquired via Nazi looting.

But now the Met is facing a very different kind of restitution battle. The Turkish government is insisting it is the rightful owner of 18 objects from the collection of Norbert Schimmel, a Met trustee and one of the last century’s most astute collectors of Mediterranean antiquities.
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University of Pennsylvania museum returns disputed artefacts to Turkey on indefinite loan

Posted at 8:50 am in Similar cases

As part of their ongoing drive to secure the return of disputed artefacts, Turkey appears to have reached an agreement with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, for the return of various artefacts on an indefinite loan. It is interesting, as it shows that for some museums, the idea of an indefinite loan as a solution to issues is a relatively straightforward option – yet, when the possibility has been raised with the British Museum as a means to return the Parthenon Sculptures, Greece has always been told that it is unworkable, and that any loan must have a definite (usually 3-4 month) period attached to it. This is of course, despite the fact that the British Museum itself has also entered into some fairly nebulous loan agreements in the past – and has been on the receiving end of many more (which it presumably does not complain about.

From:
Philly.com

Penn museum lends possibly plundered items to Turkey
September 07, 2012|By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer

Following a scientific analysis that suggested its collection of ancient, Trojan-style gold jewelry was looted from northwestern Turkey, the University of Pennsylvania announced this week that it had lent the 24 items to that country for an indefinite period.

In exchange, the Turkish government pledged to lend other artifacts for a one-year exhibit at Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, including priceless items from Gordion, seat of power of King Midas. The country also promised support for ongoing excavations by Penn scholars within its borders.
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Facts regarding misappropriation of Armenian art by Azerbaijan and Turkey will be represented to ICOM

Posted at 8:39 am in Similar cases

The Armenian national committee of International Council of Museums is concerned about the misappropriation of Armenian artefacts by neighbouring countries & is making a representation to the Chairman of ICOM Hans-Martin Hinz, regarding this issue.

From:
Armenpress

Facts regarding misappropriation of Armenian art by Azerbaijan and Turkey will be represented to ICOM
10:20, 22 October, 2012

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 22, ARMENPRESS. Armenian national committee of International Council of Museums (ICOM) is very anxious about the fact of misappropriation of Armenian culture by a number of neighboring countries. In order to find solution of this problem Director of ICOM of Armenia Marine Haroyan will represent the situation to the Chairman of ICOM Hans-Martin Hinz. Marine Haroyan said in a conversation with “Armenpress” that this time the matter is about Armenian museum pieces being represented in Azerbaijani, Turkish and other museums as their own. In Marine Haroyan’s opinion the essence of the problem is the following: “They give the following interpretation to this saying that if these pieces of art had been created in their territory, hence these all belongs to them not taking into consideration the fact that these museum pieces are samples of the Armenian culture”.
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March 5, 2013

Restitution debates become ever more divisive

Posted at 9:28 am in Similar cases

As the modern globalised world becomes more closely connected, it is in some ways easier than ever, to become a collector of rare & ancient artefacts & amass a sizable collection fairly rapidly. Paradoxically though, it is at the same time becoming harder too, as purchases are subject to ever closer scrutiny.

From:
Financial Times

September 13, 2012 12:13 am
Home isn’t always where the art is
By Peter Aspden

As the drive to reclaim national treasures gathers pace, the restitution debate is growing ever more divisive

It is one of the art world’s greatest paradoxes: while the market for cultural treasures becomes more and more globalised, the clamour for those works to be repatriated to their country of origin becomes ever louder. In theory it has never been easier for museums, dealers and collectors to become international players on the art scene; in truth, it is getting more difficult by the day.

The claims for the restitution of works of art that are said to have been plundered from their native land grow apace. The case of the 10th-century Cambodian statue that was put up for auction last year by Sotheby’s, only to be blocked by a last-minute legal bid for repatriation, is only one recent example.
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Two US museums wrestle with complex questions of provenance

Posted at 9:16 am in Similar cases

An interesting story about how the archaeological museum of the University of Pennsylvania led to modern treaties on acquisition of unprovenanced artefacts – and how the artefacts that started the story are now returning to their presumed original home.

From:
Newsweek

Who Owns Antiquity?
Sep 10, 2012 1:00 AM EDT
Two U.S. museums wrestle with the provenance question.

In 1966, curators at the archaeological museum of the University of Pennsylvania bought a pile of gorgeous Bronze Age jewelry from a Philadelphia dealer. They couldn’t know their purchase would change how museums work.

The 24 gold objects had come to Penn with no trace of where they’d been unearthed, or how. That left scholars there without much clue about why and when the gold had been worked, or by whom— and with the suspicion that it had been dug up by looters. Frustrated, they decided to take steps to prevent this kind of “homelessness” for other antiquities. In 1970, they issued a declaration (a Philadelphia tradition, after all) insisting that the Penn museum would no longer acquire ancient objects whose history could not be properly tracked. Later that year, a UNESCO convention on cultural property suggested the same rule for all other museums, and since then, reputable institutions have pretty much toed that line.
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March 4, 2013

Association for research into crimes against art – 5th annual conference

Posted at 1:54 pm in Events, Similar cases

The 5th annual conference of the Association for research into crimes against art takes place on 22-23 June 2013, in Amelia, Italy.

From:
ARCA

ARCA’s 5th Annual Art Crime Conference will be held June 21-23, 2013

Amelia Italy

The Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) is pleased to announce it 5th annual interdisciplinary conference on Art Crime to be held June 21-23, 2013

Providing an arena for intellectual and professional exchange, the annual Art Crime conference is integral to the nonprofit’s mission and serves as a forum which aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of the protection of art and heritage worldwide.
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March 1, 2013

The Poundland Banksy is not the Parthenon Sculptures – but there are similarities

Posted at 9:03 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Locals comment, that having the Poundland Banksy increased tourist visiting their area – which in turn would have increased money coming to the area.

“It had been ripped out with no explanation, along with quite a substantial chunk of the wall,” could just as easily have been a statement from a Greek referring to the desecrated acropolis post Elgin.

It is interesting, that even for an item only removed a few days ago, there is difficulty tracking down what actually happened & who sold it to whom & whether they were allowed to or not. Hardly surprising then, that many cultural heritage disputes dating back hundreds of years are marred by contradictory facts.

There are of course, also many differences between the cases. This is something that is true of nearly all cultural property cases – a subtlety that wasn’t picked up by David Cameron in his comparisons between the Koh-i-noor & the Parthenon Marbles last week.

From:
New York Times

Borough Searches for Missing Boy, Last Seen on Wall
The work, called “Slave Labour,” has become a point of pride in Haringey, the site of some of the nastiest rampages in the 2011 London riots.
By SARAH LYALL
Published: February 28, 2013

“It had been ripped out with no explanation, along with quite a substantial chunk of the wall,” said Alan Strickland, a member of the local council, describing the bizarre scene that greeted passers-by the other weekend. “All that was left was this hole.”

The work — called “Slave Labour” and depicting a downtrodden, barefoot boy making Union Jacks on a sewing machine — had become a point of pride in Haringey, the site of some of the nastiest rampages in the 2011 London riots. Stenciled onto the wall of the everything-costs-a-pound Poundland store on Whymark Avenue, it drew visitors from across London and abroad; so many people asked for directions that the local subway station erected a special “This way to our Banksy” sign.
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February 28, 2013

The “Benin Plan of action for restitution” and what it means for the return of disputed artefacts

Posted at 8:51 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Meetings have been held in Nigeria, between representatives of the government & from various institutions abroad, that hold disputed Nigerian artefacts. The aim of this is to determine some way forward to resolving the issue. For an opinion on the viability of this, the second article I have reposted gives an alternative perspective to the official government line to the media.

From:
The Guardian (Nigeria)

Amid hope of restitution, Nigeria hosts foreign museums
Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00 By Tajudeen Sowole

AS Nigeria hosts some representatives of holders of the country’s looted cultural objects as part of efforts towards the return of the controversial artefatcs, the country’s dialogue or diplomatic approach is once again on the spot.

Scheduled to hold next week, significantly, in Benin, Edo State, where the largest looting of Africa’s cultural objects took place in 1897, the meeting would be the third of its kind between the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) and some museums in Europe.
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