Showing results 13 - 24 of 80 for the tag: Neil MacGregor.

July 25, 2012

Looted treasures returned to Afghanistan by the UK

Posted at 1:14 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the artefacts returned to Afghanistan, after being seized in the UK.

From:
The Hindu

U.K. returns artefacts to Afghanistan
LONDON, July 20, 2012
Hasan Suroor

More than 800 historic artefacts — stolen from museums in Afghanistan some 20 years ago and smuggled abroad — have been returned to Kabul with help from the British Museum.

They include: a rare sculpture of Buddha, pieces of the Begram Ivories dating back to the 1st century B.C., Bronze Age carvings and medieval Islamic coins.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 23, 2012

850 looted treasures repatriated to Afghanistan from UK

Posted at 9:11 am in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the ongoing attempts by the UK to return various Afghan artefacts, that have been seized by UK border officials. I’m unclear why the number of artefacts has altered significantly since the previous article I posted about it a few days ago.

From:
Independent

Looted treasures returned to Afghanistan by British Museum
Dalya Alberge
Thursday 19 July 2012

The British Museum, aided by British police and the UK Border Force, has helped return to Afghanistan hundreds of looted antiquities seized from smugglers, The Independent can reveal.

David Cameron will announce in Afghanistan today that 850 treasures have been repatriated, having been passed to the British Museum for safeguarding following their confiscation in Britain over the last two years.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 13, 2012

The British Museum is committed to loaning artefacts on a large scale – when it suits

Posted at 12:56 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The British Museum makes much of its commitment to loaning out artefacts (both in the UK & overseas) – but this always happens very much on their own terms. In many of the cases of disputed artefacts – the ones that people most want to see in their original locations, the museum rejects loans, because of the fact that they can’t guarantee the return.

In the past, Greece has offered to loan other artefacts of equal value to the Parthenon Marbles – a form of collateral, which ought to satisfy such worries, but the museum still won’t consider their requests for a long term (or for that matter any length of) loan of the sculptures.

If some of the Lewis Chessmen can go back on a long term loan (a good starting point for perhaps more to join them one day), then why can’t the same happen to the Elgin Marbles?

From:
Guardian

British Museum vows to help regional collections through tough times
Loans of works to regional museums are part of vital support to struggling sector, says director Neil MacGregor
Mark Brown, arts correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 4 July 2012 14.46 BST

The British Museum has said that is loaning works to UK museums at an unprecedented level to help them weather waters that are likely to be choppy for at least five years.

Launching the museum’s annual report, the museum’s director, Neil MacGregor, spoke of “new kind of engagement” with museums across the UK to develop the sense of there being “one national collection, one community of scholarship”.
Read the rest of this entry »

June 14, 2012

British Museum to permanently return some of Lewis Chessmen to Stornoway in 2014

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

After briefly returning to Scotland in 2010, some of the Lewis Chessmen are going to return on a semi permanent basis to the island where they were discovered. It is unclear how much SNP leader Alex Salmond’s demands for their return have led to this decision & moreover, whether the British Museum is getting anything in return for the deal. I am very interested to find out more details of the exact loan agreement that has been made.

From:
BBC News

13 June 2012 Last updated at 15:20
Historic Lewis Chessmen returning to Western Isles

Six Lewis Chessmen are to be displayed long-term at a new museum on the Western Isles, where more than 90 of the historic pieces were found.

An agreement has been reached between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) and the British Museum.
Read the rest of this entry »

April 18, 2012

The issues with free museum entry in the UK

Posted at 7:48 am in British Museum

As mentioned before, the British Museum enjoys pointing out that only in London can the Elgin Marbles be seen free of charge. This fact does of course rely on the huge subsidies by the British government, something that is getting more & more problematic in the face of other cutbacks in public spending.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Ten years of free entry, but can it last?
Why the political gain in the United Kingdom outweighs the economic cost
By Javier Pes. Museums, Issue 232, February 2012
Published online: 01 February 2012

Maintaining free entry to the UK’s national museums, as the secretary of state for culture Jeremy Hunt blogged in December on the tenth anniversary of its introduction, doesn’t come cheap: it costs around £44m a year to maintain free admission to national museums that previously charged, or around £354m in total since 1999. And yet he is happy to support it.

Why is the government backing a scheme launched in 2001 by the Labour government it routinely criticises for free-spending? The coalition is committed to reducing the country’s budget deficit, which peaked at more than 10% of gross domestic product before it came to power in 2010. Yet universal free entry, which Scotland and Wales also introduced in 2001, seems sacrosanct even though cutting the deficit is one of the coalition government’s mantras.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 29, 2012

Can travelling exhibitions be seen as a real alternative to restitution of artefacts?

Posted at 8:04 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku has forwarded me a response to Neil MacGregor’s assertions that the artefacts should not be returned & instead substituted with travelling exhibitions to help share the artefacts.

From Kwame Opoku via email.

Travelling Exhibition as Alternative to Restitution? Comments on Suggestion by Director of the British Museum.

The Director of the British Museum has indeed a fertile mind that never tires of inventing new defences for the retention of looted artefacts of others in the major museums.

Once it became clear that the infamous Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums. (2002) and its principles were not as effective as the signatories thought, other approaches had to be considered.

One such approach is the “travelling exhibition”. This seems interesting and reasonable until one begins to consider what is being proposed. MacGregor is reported in Elginism to have told an audience at the University of Western Australia that due to globalisation, the concept of “travelling exhibitions” will become more relevant;
Read the rest of this entry »

March 22, 2012

British Museum director Neil MacGregor insists artefacts must not be returned

Posted at 8:33 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

At a lecture at UWA in Perth, British Museum director, Neil MacGregor insists that artefacts should not be returned by museums to their countries of origin. Instead, he proposes that travelling exhibitions will become more popular in future, allowing some of the artefacts in question to be exhibited around the world.

This idea sounds fine in practice – but it doesn’t help to correct the many perceived and actual injustices that led to large amounts of the artefacts being in museums such as his in the first place.

From:
WA Today

Museum boss defends keeping of precious artefacts
Jenna Clarke
October 27, 2011 – 5:57AM

Artefacts of historical and cultural significance which are displayed in major museums around the world should not be returned to their country of origin, according to art world leader Neil MacGregor.

During an address at the University of Western Australia this week the British Museum director came to the defence of museums around the world where indigenous and ancient objects are displayed.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 25, 2012

Efforts by British collector to rescue Afghan artefact

Posted at 2:02 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

An anonymous art dealer, is trying to purchase an artefact, believed to have been looted from Afghanistan, with the sole aim of returning it. Interestingly, the British Museum is getting involved – clearly repatriation is much more important for recently taken artefacts than it is for older ones (that are already in their collection).

From:
Guardian

Prized Afghan antiquity is rescued by British art dealer
Gandharan Buddha will be on show at the British Museum until mid-July
Dalya Alberge
Sunday 29 May 2011 00.04 BST

An anonymous art dealer passionate about Afghan heritage has teamed up with the British Museum in an effort to buy and repatriate a spectacular antiquity believed to have been looted from the Afghan national museum in Kabul during the 1990s.

The British dealer, who said he had a “very strong emotional attachment” to Afghanistan, resolved to buy the 2nd-century Gandharan Buddha after he recognised it in a photograph sent by a colleague in Japan. The sculpture, which had disappeared in the bloody civil war, had been bought by a Japanese collector.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 16, 2011

British Museum director would not consider returning the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 1:54 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

More coverage of Neil MacGregor’s comments in an Australian Press article.

From:
Greek Reporter

British Museum’s Director Refuses to Return Parthenon Marbles
Posted on 31 March 2011 by Anastasia Miskedaki

The director of the British Museum was interviewed by the Australian newspaper “The Sydney Morning Herald” where he eliminated all possibilities of the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece. Mr. Macgregor, states characteristically about the marbles: “These historical objects are worthy when they are exhibited in a whole, so, as a narrator of the whole human history, I think it is obligatory to find the best way for the marbles to be visited, as they cannot be embodied in Parthenon.” As he also said, in the two-page interview included in the Spectrum insert of the newspaper, the museum is willing to lend the marbles to Greece but the Greek government doesn’t even negotiate this possibility. When the new museum of the Acropolis was inaugurated, the British Museum was once more willing to lend the marbles, on a condition that the Greek government would recognize the rights of their possession to the British Museum. This proposition was straightly declined from the Greek government.

November 15, 2011

The wrong story of the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 5:48 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Neil MacGregor talks about how the Parthenon Marbles can be part of a story in London & a different one in Athens. What he seems to completely miss is the fact that they were designed were part of one complete story, not the contrived justification of their expropriation that he thinks they now embody. Would anyone consider that splitting the pages of a book between two locations made more sense than having all the surviving pages in a single library?

The story of the marbles in the British Museum, is merely a small & inconvenient footnote at the end of a long life on the acropolis – claiming that it somehow now forms a new (equally important) story seems slightly ridiculous.

From:
The Australian

An object lesson in civilisations
March 29, 2011 12:00AM

NEIL MacGregor, director of the British Museum in London, had an unlikely popular success with his BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects, followed by an engaging if sizeable tome of the same name. Bite-sized discussions about chiselled rocks, old coins and ancient scrolls, no matter how well researched, are not your usual hit-makers.

MacGregor tapped into a revival of interest in history, a thirst for cultural context at a time when we seem to value things being faster, smaller and disposable while, simultaneously, contemporary life is ever more frenetic and unexamined.
Read the rest of this entry »

Is the British Museum really willing to rent the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece?

Posted at 1:39 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

According to this article (I haven’t read the longer article that it refers to), the British Museum would be willing to “rent” the Elgin Marbles back to Greece. Whether or not they would in practise though is unlikely to be put to the test, as engaging in such an agreement would be unacceptable to the Greeks, as in many ways, it endorses the UK’s claims of ownership over the sculptures.

I have a feeling that any rental agreement would be full of so many pre-conditions that it would never be acceptable & would never go ahead – it seems that until such offers take a more palatable form, they are nothing but talk – the Museum knows that they will not be taken up on what they are saying.

From:
Greek Reporter

British Museum Offer to “Rent” Parthenon Sculptures to Greece
Posted on 24 March 2011 by Anastasia Miskedaki

The British Museum is not willing to give back the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, stated Neil Macgregor, the Museum’s director. But, Greece can rent them if it wants.

A two page tribute and an interview with Neil Macgregor is included in the Spectrum insert of The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. The museum’s director will offer the speech that he is going to give at the Art Gallery in Sydney, for the presentation of his new book.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 7, 2011

Exhibiting a narative “of creation, of exchange, destruction and recovery”

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

British Museum director Neil MacGregor talks in Grand terms about an exhibition of rescued artefacts from Afghanistan, describing their existence as part of the overall story. Why is it then, that so little is made of the stories behind the acquisition of so many artefacts in the museum’s collection, focussing instead only on how the objects were created in the first place.

From:
Edmonton Sun

Karzai opens London show of rescued Afghan treasures
By Stefano Ambrogi, Reuters
Last Updated: March 6, 2011 10:00pm

Even in the chaos and violence of war there is hope. That is the message running through a new British Museum exhibition of Afghanistan’s ancient treasures thought lost, destroyed, or looted over the past 30 years.

The collection of 200 priceless artefacts spanning 4,000 years of history, from enameled Roman glass goblets, stunning solid gold headdresses and polished stone tableware from Egypt, were saved by a handful of Afghan officials who risked their lives hiding them.
Read the rest of this entry »