Showing results 37 - 48 of 53 for the tag: Metropolitan Museum.

December 1, 2008

The battle over stolen treasures from the ancient world

Posted at 1:48 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Sharon Waxman’s new book seems now to have been reviewed in almost all the major news publications in the US – perhaps an indication of the current level of interest in the subject.

From:
San Francisco Chronicle

Nonfiction review: ‘Loot’ by Sharon Waxman
Reagan Upshaw, Special to The Chronicle
Saturday, November 29, 2008

Loot
The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World
By Sharon Waxman
Times Books; 414 pages; $30

The title, stamped in gold capital letters on the dust jacket, gives away the author’s agenda: This is a muckraking book about art objects from ancient cultures that have found their way into major museums of Europe and the United States. Sharon Waxman has a nose for scandal and spends much of the book following up on reports of thefts by grave robbers, smuggling by dealers and sexual hanky-panky between museum personnel.
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November 26, 2008

Museums battle with source nations over ownership of artefacts

Posted at 2:00 pm in Similar cases

Sharon Waxman’s new book looks at both sides of the arguments over looted artefacts held in museums. Museums come up with increasingly tenuous arguments to justify their positions – but public mood is shifting in favour of making sensible agreements to repatriate artefacts with source nations.

From:
Los Angeles Times

BOOK REVIEW
‘Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World’ by Sharon Waxman
As museums battle nations of artifacts’ origin, the author weighs both sides in a sane manner.
By Wendy Smith
November 25, 2008

Journalist Sharon Waxman’s “Loot,” a cogent survey of the conflict over classical antiquities, is notable for its common sense, a rare quality in a debate generally characterized by high-pitched rhetoric. As Italy, Greece, Egypt and Turkey attempt to reclaim ancient artworks, their government officials depict Western museums as predatory institutions working hand-in-glove with tomb robbers, crooked dealers and shady collectors to strip vulnerable nations of their patrimony. In response, the beleaguered directors and curators of the Louvre, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum and the J. Paul Getty Museum proclaim that they are repositories of universal culture, the places best qualified to conserve masterpieces that, if returned to their countries of origin, would languish in institutions that no one visits.
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Museums end up paying the price for looted antiquities

Posted at 1:54 pm in Similar cases

For many years, Museums sat comfortably in the knowledge that despite turning a blind eye to the looted antiquities in their collections, the law was on their side & successful prosecutions were rare, even in relatively clear cut cases. In the past three or four years though, a constantly evolving situation has begun to shift far more rapidly.

So far, Italy has taken the lead role in spearheading the wave of restitutions, but other countries are carefully watching & learning.

From:
Cleveland.com

Analysis: Museums often pay the price for looted antiquities
by Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Art Critic
Sunday November 23, 2008, 6:30 AM

On Sept. 13, 1995, Swiss and Italian police raided a suite of offices in a warehouse on the southwest side of Geneva rented by Italian antiquities dealer Giacomo de Medici.

Behind the gray metal door of Room 23, on Corridor 17, they found shelves packed with looted vases, statues, bronzes, frescoes, mosaics and jewelry.
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November 17, 2008

Looting & museums

Posted at 1:43 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Another review of Sharon Waxman’s new book. Another new book by Nina Burleigh looks at one of the side effects of the endemic trade in de-contextualised unprovenanced artefacts.

From:
Washington Post

Fool’s Gold
How stolen ancient artifacts have turned up in famous museums around the world.
Reviewed by Roger Atwood
Sunday, November 16, 2008; Page BW02

LOOT – The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World
By Sharon Waxman | Times. 414 pp. $30

UNHOLY BUSINESS – A True Tale of Faith, Greed, and Forgery in the Holy Land
By Nina Burleigh | Smithsonian/Collins. 271 pp. $27.50

Early this year, officials at the Metropolitan Museum of Art trussed up one of the prizes of its collection, an ancient vase known as the Euphronios krater, and sent it back to Italy. Italian authorities had presented evidence that the piece had been looted from a tomb near Rome less than a year before the Met paid $1 million for it in 1972. Faced with the prospect of a lawsuit and a ban on receiving any future loans from Italian museums, the Met, writes former Washington Post and New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman, “stalled, stonewalled, and would not be swayed — until it was forced to do so.”
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November 10, 2008

How museums became looters

Posted at 2:01 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Sharon Waxman’s book on the looted artefacts filling some of the world’s greatest museums is getting quite a bit of media attention. Its position is almost completely the opposite of that taken by James Cuno in his book published earlier this year. In many ways it could be said that Cuno represents the view of the museums whilst Waxman ‘s view is more closely aligned to that of the general public. In countries such as Britain though, a large amount of the funding for the largest museums comes from tax payers via the government – so surely these institutions should be doing more to reflect what the public expects of them?

From:
New York Times

Art of the Steal
By HUGH EAKIN
Published: November 7, 2008

Loot is an ugly word. Derived from ­Hindi and Sanskrit, it emerged in British India, where it no doubt proved useful in describing some of the more sordid transactions of empire. In the 20th century, it was applied to Jewish art collections systematically plundered by Hitler and, later, to electronics pilfered from shop windows during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Most recently — and perhaps most provocatively — it has been wielded against well-to-do American museums whose pristine specimens of ancient civilizations have with shocking frequency turned out to be contraband.
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Fighting back after the plunder of the ancient world

Posted at 1:50 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Another review of Sharon Waxman’s book on the looted antiquities that fill many museums of the West.

From:
Boston Globe

Golden fleeces
For centuries the West has plundered the treasures of the ancient world; now some nations are fighting back
By Michael Kammen
November 9, 2008

LOOT:The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World
By Sharon Waxman
Times, 414 pp., illustrated, $30

Have you ever wondered why the Rosetta stone (so crucial to our understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics), discovered by Napoleon’s army in 1799, is situated in the British Museum? Or why a Babylonian stele called the Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known legal code in human society (“an eye for an eye”), is located in the Louvre in Paris? Or how the beautiful bust of Egyptian queen Nefertiti ended up as the showpiece of a Berlin museum?
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November 6, 2008

Who owns treasures such as the Parthenon Sculptures?

Posted at 1:30 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Sharon Waxman’s book questions the ideology that many of the West’s great museums are based on. Should we accept now that the world has moved on & that it is time start rethinking our museums?

From:
Time

The Skimmer
Who Owns Ancient Treasures?
By Gilbert Cruz Thursday, Nov. 06, 2008
Loot by Sharon Waxman

Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World
Sharon Waxman
Times Books; 414 pages

The Gist:
The great museums of the world are stuffed with spoils of war. They’re crammed with stolen relics and permanently borrowed treasures, beautiful icons obtained through shady means and cultural riches that their countries of origin want back — right now. In her look at the debate over who owns ancient art, Waxman, a former Hollywood reporter for the New York Times profiles four museums—the Louvre, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum—and poses the question, “Shall we empty [them] because one source country after another seeks the return of treasures past?”
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November 3, 2008

Dealing with the plundering of antiquities

Posted at 1:56 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Another review of Sharon Waxman’s new book about the looting that fills the museums of the West.

From:
Dallas Morning News

‘Loot’ by Sharon Waxman: Author delves into the plundering of antiquities
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, November 2, 2008
By ALEXANDRA WITZE / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
books@dallasnews.com Alexandra Witze is chief of correspondents for America for the science journal Nature.

Classical scholar Marion True, a curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, was a leading light in the museum world, until her passion for antiquities landed her in court in Italy.

In a bizarre series of events starting in 2005, Italian prosecutors pursued her for allegedly covering up earlier transactions in which the Getty had bought looted artifacts for its collection. Yet Ms. True had long fought against the murky underworld of smuggled antiquities, and many now feel she became a scapegoat in an ongoing battle between august Western institutions and the often-poorer countries from which the world’s great artifacts were taken.
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October 24, 2008

The battle over the stolen treasures of the ancient world

Posted at 1:46 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

A new book by Sharon Waxman looks at how many museums of the West have relied heavily on looted artefacts to build up their collections, even in comparatively recent times.

From:
Truthdig

Book Review
Karl E. Meyer on Sharon Waxman’s ‘Loot’
Posted on Oct 24, 2008
By Karl E. Meyer

I devoured “Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World” with particular zest, having published in 1973 an earlier account of the same cultural underworld, “The Plundered Past.” A seasoned reporter with an Oxford degree in Middle East studies, Sharon Waxman has updated and surpassed my explorations, in part because the outcry over the illicit traffic has reached fever pitch, provoking voluble, angry and indiscreet utterances from curators, collectors, dealers and a new breed of watchdogs, viz.:

“You end up thinking we’re all a bunch of looters, thieves, exploiters, that we’re some kind of criminals … but who would be interested in Greek sculpture if it were all in Greece? These pieces are great because they’re in the Louvre.” So protests Aggy Leroule, the Louvre’s press attaché, and so complain directors, trustees and publicists at the many great temples of art and archaeology. Yet there are also dissidents, an unlikely example being Thomas Hoving, once the acquisition-obsessed director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and now a fallen Lucifer who recalls, almost with relish, his prevarications past.
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September 19, 2008

Behind the scenes at the Met

Posted at 12:45 pm in Similar cases

A book due out next year by Michael Gross looks behind the scenes at the Met – in particular, how they made some of their acquisitions & whether they really did believe that they were always acting in good faith. The author tells me that quite a bit of previously unknown information will be revealed in the book.

Perhaps this will offer an interesting antidote to James Cuno’s book, giving the other side of the story of how a universal museum actually operates.

From:
New York Post

MUSEUM EXPOSÉ
September 17, 2008

ONE unwelcome chore for Thomas Campbell, director-elect of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be the repercussions from “Rogues’ Gallery” by Michael Gross – the exposé Campbell’s predecessor, Philippe de Montebello, failed to stop. Though it’s not due out until spring, it’s already ruffling feathers. Among its revelations is the real reason why the Met returned its Euphronios vase and other looted objects to Italy this year: Italian prosecutors threatened to indict the museum’s emeritus antiquities curator, Dietrich von Bothmer, and put the wheel-chair-bound nonagenarian on trial if the treasures weren’t returned. Just like that, they were.

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August 23, 2008

Lectures on the Encyclopaedic Museum

Posted at 2:05 pm in British Museum, Events, Similar cases

James Cuno, Neil MacGregor, Phillipe De Montebello & Thomas Gaehtgens represent the astonishingly one sided collection of speakers lecturing in Chicago on the concept formerly known as the Universal Museum. (details of each lecture follow the main article).

From:
Chicago Art Institute

NEWS: The Art Institute of Chicago Presents: 360 Degrees: Art beyond Borders
22 Aug 2008

The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

27 September 2008–16 June 2009

[…]

Join us for a wealth of insightful and exciting 360 Degrees programming.

# Lectures: Four engaging lecture series occur throughout the season. In “The Fate of Encyclopedic Museums,” directors from the Art Institute, the Getty, the British Museum, and the Met discuss the role of the encyclopedic museum. Noted scholars also explore current and historical perspectives on globalization and Art Institute curators give their take on the encyclopedic nature of their collections.
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August 11, 2008

The fight against the tombaroli

Posted at 1:26 pm in Similar cases

Maurizio Fiorilli has in recent years been no stranger to restitution cases in his work for the Italian Government. Here he talks about some of the issues he is dealing with, as well as the way that the problems of looting are exacerbated by the policies of many of the museums that receive the stolen artefacts.

From:
Sunday Telegraph

Maurizio Fiorilli: scourge of the tomb raiders
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 10/08/2008

Bad news for the art thieves who for years have been selling Italy’s ancient treasures to foreign museums: ‘Il Bulldog’ is on your case. Alastair Smart meets the resolute attorney demanding their return

Pasquale Camera didn’t do light lunches. After a third plate of veal Napolitano, washed down by his nth glass of Barolo, the 25-stone ex-police captain galumphed his way out of a Naples restaurant, climbed into his Renault 21, and set off north for Rome. The August heat was intense, and just a few miles up the motorway, he fell asleep at the wheel, smashed into the guardrail and overturned his car. He died instantly.
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