Showing results 37 - 48 of 80 for the tag: Neil MacGregor.

February 17, 2010

Iran breaks ties with the British Museum over Cyrus Cylinder

Posted at 1:59 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The dispute between Iran & the British Museum over the Cyrus Cylinder continues to drag on. Iran is taking further steps to cut ties with the British Museum, in the hope that this will force an earlier resolution to the situation.

From:
Museums Association

Iran cuts ties with British Museum
Gareth Harris
08/02/2010

Hamid Baghaei, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organisation (ICHHTO), has cut ties with the British Museum (BM) after it delayed the loan of the Cyrus Cylinder. The sixth-century artefact was due to go on display at the Iran National Museum in Tehran last month.

The decision was announced during a press conference on Saturday according to the Tehran Times. But a spokeswoman for the British Museum said that the decision came as a “great surprise”, and added that the museum had finally agreed to loan the object to Iran only last week.
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February 11, 2010

A history of the world in one hundred disputed artefacts

Posted at 10:15 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Those living in the UK can not fail to have noticed the BBC’s ongoing series – the history of the world in one hundred objects, organised by British Museum director Neil MacGregor. This series due to run for much off 2010, promises to perpetuate his personal world view of the Universal Museum, while sidestepping the true nature of the debates surrounding many of the artefacts in his institution. There is an issue at stake here of how vast a mouthpiece the BBC has given him to expound his own views, without others being given a clear, proportional right of reply.

From:
Modern Ghana

A HISTORY OF THE WORLD WITH 100 LOOTED OBJECTS OF OTHERS: GLOBAL INTOXICATION?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.

It is perhaps indicative of the cultural climate of our times that the British Museum and the BBC could announce a programme with a pretentious title such as “A History of the World in 100 Objects”. (2) A pretence to serving the whole world, a title which indicates a wider view but hides in fact the reality of frantic efforts to preserve the interests of a few in the guise of the so-called “universal museums” which have come under some heavy criticisms in recent years. The project appears to be aimed at diverting attention from the fact that the tide of history is moving against the illegitimate detention of the cultural objects of others. It is aimed at impressing the masses about the alleged indispensable role of the major museums and gathering support for their continuing possession that is tainted with illegality and illegitimacy. In the process, public interest for the museum would be stimulated and information about the objects as considered necessary would be produced.

The last few years have seen major Western museums being criticised for purchasing looted objects. Leading American museums and universities have been forced to return to Italy looted artefacts that had been bought by the museums, knowing full well that the objects could only have been looted. Indeed, an American curator is in jail in Italy, waiting for her trial for criminal offences in connection with acquisition of Italian artefacts for her museum in the USA. Moreover, Egypt has renewed its demands for the return of the Rosetta Stone, the bust of Nefertiti and other items that have been in major Western museums for several decades. The Greeks have constantly been reclaiming the return of the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles and the completion of the magnificent New Acropolis Museum has exposed the hollow British arguments for retaining the marbles. The British public has overwhelmingly voted in favour of returning the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles to Athens whenever a poll was made. We should also remember that the Nigerians who have never forgotten the brutal invasion of Benin in 1897 are seeking the return of some of the 5000 objects looted by the British troops in their bloody aggression against a kingdom that resisted British imperialist expansion and hegemonial endeavours.
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Neil MacGregor talks about the Elgin Marbles & Cyrus Cylinder

Posted at 9:56 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

British Museum director, Neil MacGregor has given a talk, mentioning both the Elgin Marbles & the Cyrus Cylinder. He says that the sense of national identity that people get from these pieces is an example of seeing what one wants to see – but surely his own interpretation of the artefacts as part of a global story that can only be told when they are assembled together in the British Museum is far more of a digression from the original significance of these particular artefacts.

From:
Guardian

British Museum’s Neil MacGregor on the Parthenon marbles and Cyrus cylinder
Tuesday 2 February 2010 22.45 GMT
Charlotte Higgins

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, gave the first of the London Review of Books’ winter lectures, organised to celebrate the ­journal’s 30th birthday. He began by talking about John Dee’s obsidian ­mirror, in which the Elizabethan ­magus could supposedly see angels. That became MacGregor’s metaphor: we look at objects and find in them what we want to see. And so to the ­Parthenon marbles and the Cyrus ­cylinder (a clay cylinder inscribed with a decree from the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great). “A whole nation,” MacGregor said of the marbles, “has decided they embody something ­fundamental about Greek national identity. It is a prime example of ­seeing what you want to see.”
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February 7, 2010

British Museum battles with Iran over Cyrus Cylinder

Posted at 5:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The British Museum’s arguments with Iran continue, as they try to justify their position in continually delaying the proposed reciprocal loan of the Cyrus Cylinder. What is more interesting is that the British Museum clings on to these artefacts proclaiming how important they are, but then it is not included on the list of the 100 most important artefacts in the Museum.

From:
The Guardian

British Museum in battle with Iran over ancient ‘charter of rights’
Tehran alleges time-wasting as curator trawls through thousands of cuneiform clay fragments for Cyrus the Great’s legacy
John Wilson – The Observer, Sunday 24 January 2010

The discovery of fragments of ancient cuneiform tablets – hidden in a British Museum storeroom since 1881 – has sparked a diplomatic row between the UK and Iran. In dispute is a proposed loan of the Cyrus cylinder, one of the most important objects in the museum’s collection, and regarded by some historians as the world’s first human rights charter.

The Iranian government has threatened to “sever all cultural relations” with Britain unless the artefact is sent to Tehran immediately. Museum director Neil MacGregor has been accused by an Iranian vice-president of “wasting time” and “making excuses” not to make the loan of the 2,500-year-old clay object, as was agreed last year.
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January 28, 2010

Rows continue over the latest delays to the return of the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran

Posted at 2:04 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage & analysis of the continuing delays to the British Museum’s planned return of the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran.

From:
Financial Times

Storm in a cylinder
Published: January 22 2010 22:44 | Last updated: January 22 2010 22:44

The row over the British Museum’s delay in honouring its agreement to lend a precious artefact to Iran is no more than a storm in a cylinder – but no less instructive for being confected.

The museum has held up the loan to Iran’s National Museum of the Cyrus Cylinder, a cuneiform document inscribed in clay in 539BC by Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, to commemorate his conquest of Babylon. The reason for the delay is the discovery of two fragments from the cylinder that could greatly elucidate its purpose.
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January 25, 2010

Cyrus Cylinder discovery delays loan to Iran

Posted at 1:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the discovery of new fragments of the Cyrus Cylinder & the delays that it is causing to the proposed loan of the artefact to Iran.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Major discovery delays Cyrus Cylinder loan to Iran
British Museum says the finding of related texts is “very significant” but Iranian cultural heritage head threatening to cut cultural ties to the UK
By Martin Bailey | Published online 20 Jan 10

The British Museum’s (BM) loan of the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran has been delayed, because of a major discovery in London. Part of Cyrus the Great’s text has been found on two fragments of inscribed clay tablets.

The first fragment was identified on 31 December by Wilfred Lambert, a retired professor from Birmingham University, who was going through some of the 130,000 tablets at the museum. Although it had been seen by earlier scholars, no one had linked the text to the Cyrus Cylinder.
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January 6, 2010

Mary Beard gives her views on the Elgin Marbles

Posted at 3:06 pm in Elgin Marbles

Mary Beard has regularly spoken about the Parthenon Sculptures & about her views on their return. Here in an interview, she clarifies some of her thoughts on the issue.

You can watch the interview with her here.

December 20, 2009

Neil MacGregor turns up to observe Elgin Marbles protest

Posted at 6:33 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

American Mary Phillips made a protest about the Parthenon Marbles a few weeks ago, standing outside the British Museum dressed as a caryatid.

During the protest though, there was an unexpected appearance by British Museum director Neil MacGregor coming over to see what was going on.

Read all the details on Artknows.

Pictures of her protest are on Elginism’s Pinterest page.

December 1, 2009

British Prime Minister supports keeping Staffordshire Hoard near to where it was discovered

Posted at 10:26 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Since its discovery, many officials have publicly expressed the imperative for the Staffordshire Hoard to be displayed in the area where it was discovered – with the suggestion that displaying artefacts near to where they belong is the sensible approach to take. Now it appears that in this particular case, both the Prime Minister & the Director of the British Museum support the display of the hoard in the area where it was discovered. Whilst these aims are admirable, they are entirely consistent with the British Museum’s stance on many disputed foreign artefacts in its collection, which arguably present a far stronger case, insomuch as that they were once integral parts of a building – they have a true bont to this context, rather than being loose items that could be easily relocated to any part of the country / world.

From:
Birmingham Post

Gordon Brown backs case to keep Anglo Saxon hoard in West Midlands
Nov 11 2009 by Jonathan Walker

There is “a very strong case” for displaying the historic haul of Staffordshire gold in Tamworth, ancient capital of the kingdom of Mercia, Gordon Brown has told MPs.

But whatever happened to the 1,500 items of treasure, the aim was that they should be housed in the West Midlands, he said.
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November 6, 2009

British officials visit Iran to discuss Cyrus Cylinder

Posted at 1:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A representative from the British Museum is going to discuss the Cyrus Cylinder in Iran. This seems to indicate that Iran’s threats to cease cooperation if the issue was not dealt with by the institution has at least had some success.

From:
Press TV (Iran)

UK official visits Iran over Cyrus cylinder
Sun, 25 Oct 2009 10:34:44 GMT

A British Museum representative is to head to Tehran in a bid to negotiate with Iranian officials over lending the Cyrus cylinder inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform.

“The director of the Middle East department at the British Museum, Sheila Canby, is scheduled to visit Tehran so as to address the matter. The 2,500-year-old clay cylinder was to be temporarily handed over to Iran in September. The British Museum however did not honor its pledge citing developments after Iran’s election in June,” Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Hamid Baqaei said.
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November 5, 2009

When will the British Museum enter into negotiations with Iran

Posted at 7:17 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The dispute over the Cyrus Cylinder continues, with Iran hoping that their threats of ceasing other cooperation with the British Museum will re-initiate the talks. The question has to be asked though why such actions are necessary in the first place & whether the British Museum will carry out its promise & allow the loan to take place.

From:
Press TV (Iran)

Iran’s ultimatum on Cyrus cylinder worries UK
Thu, 22 Oct 2009 14:26:46 GMT

The British Museum has informed Iran in a letter that a delegation will be sent to Tehran to discuss the loaning of the Achaemenid Cyrus cylinder to Iran.

The clay Cyrus Cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus II, king of Persia (559-530 BC) and is considered as the world’s first charter of human rights.
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August 11, 2009

What has been learned from the return of the Euphronios Krater?

Posted at 12:51 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

High profile restitution cases have created a shift in museum culture in recent years, but some of the people involved such as Philippe de Montebello, still claim to have no comprehension of why such actions took place.

From:
Modern Ghana

DO DIRECTORS OF “UNIVERSAL MUSEUMS” EVER LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | 1 day ago

It appears legitimate to question whether the directors of “universal museums” ever learn from experience. When we read the books and articles of James Cuno, Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, Neal MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, and Philippe de Montebello, former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, we cannot escape the conclusion that, as far as restitution is concerned, these directors have not learnt anything from recent history and events. (1) This impression has been confirmed by statements made by Philippe de Montebello at Rockland, Maine, United States. (2)

Montebello, who had spoken about other issues, could not avoid discussing the question of restitution which has been brought again to the forefront by the opening of the New Acropolis Museum and the consequent pressure on the British Museum to return the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles that Lord Elgin caused to be removed from Athens in 1801 to 1812 under dubious circumstances. (3) The comments of the former Director of the Met on restitution were reported as follows:
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