Showing results 25 - 36 of 459 for the tag: Restitution.

September 25, 2013

Why Jane Austen’s ring is a weaker case than the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:20 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The story of the ring belonging to Jane Austen, purchased by Kelly Clarkson has been running in the news for some time now. First there was the initial outcry, then there was the temporary export ban, and now, the money has finally been raised to keep it in the UK.

After the campaign to keep the ring in Britain started, people from all around the world supplied donations to the Jane Austen Museum, helping them to raise the funds to prevent it from being sent abroad.

The same thing often happens – we hear about some priceless artwork or other, and then various people who are campaigning to stop it being sent to some foreign museum. But, when Greece asks for the Parthenon Marbles back, or Nigeria asks for the Benin bronzes, they are accused of (amongst other things) cultural nationalism. Museum directors look down on them & imply that they are not playing the game that they are meant to be playing – highlighting the spread of cultural knowledge etcetera that having these items outside their country brings about.

Now many comparisons have been drawn by people commenting on press articles and on twitter to the case of the Parthenon Marbles. However, I would argue that the cases are in no way similar. As I have often mentioned before, restitution cases are all unique – each has their own set of circumstances & each should be treated on its own merits.

The case of the Elgin Marbles is, I believe, far stronger than that of Jane Austen’s ring. Little is known about the origins of the ring. Nobody is sure whether Austen purchased it herself, or was given it as a gift. As such, although it is connected to her through her ownership, it could hardly be classed as inextricably linked. Similar rings could have belonged to many other people & without the full knowledge of the provenance, nobody would be able to identify which one had belonged to Austen & which had belonged to someone else. Furthermore, rings are inherently mobile objects. They are designed to be worn, or carried about. As a result, there is little that really links a ring to a specific location or region of the world.

Compare this to the Parthenon Sculptures – they were designed to be part of the temple of Athena on the Acropolis. In many cases, they were actually carved in-situ and some of them formed structural elements. They were clearly designed with a specific location in mind, not to be re-arranged, sawn apart & exhibited elsewhere. If Kelly Clarkson’s purchase of the ring had gone ahead, no damage would have been caused to it. The ring could be returned at a later point in time, and no harm would have been caused by its time away from the country.

When the Parthenon Sculptures were removed by Elgin, he only had a permit to remove loose items and to take casts. The permits he had, gave no mention of dismantling the building to remove still intact sculptures. As such, the legality of the removal of the sculptures is at best questionable. In the case of the ring, the sale was completely legitimate – there is no suggestion that anything about the process was not above board.

Bearing in mind the above, the Parthenon Marbles should be seen as a far stronger case, than that of Jane Austen’s ring. So, logically, if we are arguing for the Austen’s ring to remain in the UK, then the same museums, individuals & institutions should equally be arguing for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures. But as it is a stronger case, the arguments should thus also be stronger.

Unfortunately I have not seen this happening. Many individuals support the return of the Parthenon Marbles – but the British establishment does not. More consistency and less hypocrisy is required. The British Museum should learn from the humility of Kelly Clarkson’s gracious response on learning that she would not be able to keep the ring “The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen’s House Museum.”

From:
BBC News

23 September 2013 Last updated at 15:37
Kelly Clarkson thwarted in bid to keep Jane Austen ring

US singer Kelly Clarkson has been thwarted in her bid to take a ring which once belonged to Jane Austen out of the UK.

She bought the turquoise and gold ring for £152,450 at auction last year, outbidding the Jane Austen’s House Museum.
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September 24, 2013

Chair of International Association meets with the new Greek Culture Minister

Posted at 1:14 pm in Elgin Marbles

David Hill, Chair of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures met Greece’s new Panos Panagiotopoulos yesterday to discuss the government’s strategies for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.

Panagiotopoulos has previously made statements that he intends to make their return a priority, but it will be interesting to see exactly what sort of approach to this he plans to take.

From:
Greek Reporter

Cooperation for Return of Parthenon Marbles
By Maria Korologou on September 24, 2013

The return of the Parthenon Marbles was at the center of the meeting that the Minister of Culture and Sports Panos Panagiotopoulos held on Sept. 24 with the Delegate to the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, David Hill.

Two months ago the minister visited Paris and attended a meeting with the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, during which he reiterated the demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles which are now exhibited at the British Museum.
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September 18, 2013

Disputed Vrishanana Yogini returned to India by widow of collector Robert Schrimpf

Posted at 1:17 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Vrishanana Yogini which vanished from a village temple in India and was smuggled out of the country, to be sold to an art collector in Paris. The statue was eventually traced down by the Indian embassy & the widow of the collector who had purchased it. She agreed to return it & it was flown back to India last month. Tomorrow, it will go on display at the National Museum in New Delhi.

The part of the story that is somewhat unclear to me is why it took five years between her handing the statue to the embassy and it being returned to India.

From:
India Today

Once stolen from a UP temple, 10th-century Yogini idol returns to India
Sourabh Gupta New Delhi, September 17, 2013 | UPDATED 22:23 IST

The image of this powerful Yogini was carved on stone nearly 1,000 years ago and idol of the buffalo-headed female deity was installed in a village temple in UP’s Bundelkhand region.

Then one day, the sculpture, weighing over 400 kg, vanished- stolen and smuggled and sold to an art collector in Paris.
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September 13, 2013

Louvre asks for donations to restore the Nike of Samothrace

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

The Louvre is asking for donations to restore the Nike of Samothrace, Also known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace. This is all fine, were it not for the fact that Greece disputes the Louvre’s ownership & would like it returned.

An easy way for them to reduce their costs would be to return it to Greece now & let them pay for the restoration. I can’t see this happening any time soon though.

From:
Greek Reporter

Louvre Asks Donations For Nike Repair
By Maria Korologou on August 29, 2013

The Louvre Museum hopes to raise another million euros in an appeal for donations it launched to find the funds for the conservation of one of the world’s greatest masterpieces that is housed in the Paris institution, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace.

The new campaign is called Everybody Can Be Maecenas and will begin Sept. 3 when the famed sculpture will be removed from viewing from one of the most advantageous spots in the museum and not returned until the summer of 2014.
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August 23, 2013

An interview with a Caryatid. Elginism talks to Evi Stamatiou about her Edinburgh Festival show

Posted at 8:59 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

I have already written a few days ago about the performance by Evi Stamatiou at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The performance is entitled Caryatid Unplugged & focuses on the return of the Parthenon Sculptures (also known as the Elgin Marbles) in the British Museum to Greece, although, as you will discover, it is about far more than just this.

She is far from the first person to be captivated by the sole caryatid that sits alone in the British Museum, far from her sisters, with other notable examples being Dennis Menos’s book written from her perspective & Mary Philips who performed a protest outside the British Museum dressed as a Caryatid.

Caryatid Unlplugged graphic

I had a chance to talk with Evi about Caryatid Unplugged and to ask her a bit more about her thoughts on the Marbles & what inspired her to develop this show:

Elginism: Hi Evi, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself & your background.

Evi Stamatiou: I was born in 1980 in Ioannina, Epirus. I moved to Athens for studies in 1999 and then to London in 2010. My parents were both born in Ioannina, second generation of Greek expats returning to Greece after the Second World War from France, Russia and Northern Epirus. My father, Alexandros highly appreciated the arts and Ancient Greek Culture. When he died in 2001, I decided to change career and devote myself to theatre, as a way to keep a connection with him.

I am now based in London and work as a theatre practitioner and educator. I have ten years of international professional experience. In 2010 I established in Athens Upopirates Theatre Company and won a distinction at Off Off At Colonus Theatre Festival for my performance Thinking About Jean Genet’s Tightrope. Since 2011 I am a HE Lecturer and Course Coordinator at Wessex Academy of Performing Arts in England. I am also a member of Lincoln Centre Theatre Directors Lab.

Caryatid Unplugged - article from Metro

Elginism: Have you always had strong views on the Parthenon Marbles, or is it a more recent thing?
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August 20, 2013

Evi Stamatiou as Caryatid Unplugged at the Edinburgh festival

Posted at 8:08 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events

Evi Stamatou is a Greek based in London. She is appearing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with a performance entitled Caryatid Unplugged. Here, she aims to tell the story of the caryatid in the British Museum – something that has fascinated many people, capturing people’s attention in a different way to the other Parthenon Sculptures, perhaps because she is the most human like & easy for people to relate to.

There is a short trailer for the performance on Youtube.

From:
Kickstarter

Exploring art, immigration and the female body. The Caryatid story via burlesque, clowning, physical comedy. Traditional Greek music.

Your support for the following project is very important in order to manage to perform Caryatid Unplugged for the full run of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. There has been great effort from the creative team and we are very close to reaching our goal. Support our attempt to a make a performance that is a playful forum for social and political discussion.

In the June 2011 debate on whether to return the Ancient Parthenon marbles to Greece, David Cameron tells Parliament that ‘Britain has no intention to lose its marbles’.
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August 19, 2013

Professor Simon Critchley says that the Parthenon Marbles should return to Athens

Posted at 12:59 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

At the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy, Professor Simon Critchley spoke out in support of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.

He adds his name to the many academics, archaeologists, historians & museum professionals who already support this cause, yet the British Museum seems to care little & is still intent on maintaining their current course steering as far away from restitution as possible.

From:
Greek Reporter

Critchley Says Parthenon Marbles Are Greece’s
By Maria Arkouli on August 9, 2013

Simon Critchley, a professor of philosophy at The New School in New York City, brought the house down at the 23d World Congress of Philosophy meeting in Athens when he said the Parthenon Marbles stolen from the Acropolis nearly 200 years ago and now in the British Museum should be returned to Greece.

Critchley, who is British, was speaking to an audience on the banks of the Ilissos and had them cheering when he said, “I never understood why England has the Parthenon Marbles. The Parthenon Marbles belong to Greece and to Athens and they must return to their homeland”.
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June 19, 2013

Germany’s moral right to reclaim from Russia the treasures (that they looted from others)

Posted at 1:11 pm in Similar cases

Berlin’s Pergamnon Museum has been the subject of various restitution requests from countries such as Turkey. Not for the first time though, Germany is trying to turn the whole situation on its head, by clamouring for the return of some of the artefacts from its museums that were taken by Russia. This approach would be fine – but for as long as it ignores the requests for restitution of items such as the Pergamon Altar, they shouldn’t expect other countries to have too much sympathy with their predicament.

It has to be added though – that Russia’s behaviour has hardly been exemplary either. Particularly in its attempts to deliberately highlight just how many artefacts they managed to illegally acquire from Germany.

From:
Independent

Mary Dejevsky
Tuesday 18 June 2013
The Pergamon Museum offers a pointed message from Berlin to Russia – give our treasures back

Briefly in Berlin, I took time out to visit the Pergamon Museum, which houses –among many, many antiquities, the remains of the great temple and its altar. If you’re at all queasy about how the Elgin Marbles reached the British Museum and why they are still there, you should probably give the Pergamon temple a miss. Otherwise, it is one of the great relics of the ancient world, rescued – or looted, depending on your view – for the delectation and education of more northerly Europeans.

There are, though, good reasons why – despite any misgivings – it’s worth going. One is that the Pergamon Museum is part of a grand, and still growing, ensemble that occupies Museum Island just a short distance from the Reichstag. Clustering so many grand collections together, rather than scattering them around the city in the name of regeneration, provides a magnificent monument to high culture that is unique to Berlin.
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May 31, 2013

Germany’s Pfahlbaumuseum will return 8,000 illegally excavated pottery fragments to Greece

Posted at 1:15 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

The Pfahlbaumuseum in Bodensee has agreed to return 8,000 pottery fragments that were illegally excavated in Greece in 1941.

From:
ENET

16:15 Wednesday 29 May 2013
Thousands of Greek antiquities repatriated from Germany

8,000 pottery fragments illegally excavated during Second World War

Germany’s Pfahlbaumuseum will in June return to Greece 8,000 pottery fragments illegally excavated from Thessaly during the Second World War
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April 2, 2013

Anthony Horowitz expresses his support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:54 pm in Elgin Marbles

After his book Scorpia Rising, it was clear that author Anthony Horowitz had an interest in the Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum.

Now, in a post on twitter he is more clear about his support for the return of the sculptures to Athens. That they should definitely return to Greece to be displayed in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

From:
Twitter

@AnthonyHorowitz
Visited the superb Acropolis Museum in Athens and – I’m sorry – but I really do think the Elgin marbles should go back.
7:28 AM – 29 Mar 13

March 14, 2013

71 Native American Hopi & Zuni masks to be auctioned in Paris despite protests

Posted at 1:57 pm in Similar cases

71 native American masks are being auctioned, despite protests from the tribes that they belonged to. There are laws in place in many countries now that cover return of human remains & there are also laws in the US relating to Native American artefacts. However, these items are not covered by any of these & as such the auction is legal. One has to ask the question though of whether it is Moral though? These items could not be taken now from native tribes in the same way as happened originally.

From:
Indian Country Today Media Network

71 Hopi and Zuni Masks to be Auctioned in Paris
ICTMN Staff
March 07, 2013

On April 12, a collection of 71 Hopi and Zuni masks will be auctioned by Neret-Minet at the Druout Richelieu gallery and auction house in Paris, France. The array of katsinam masks was amassed by a collector over the course of 30 years, and date to the late 19th and early 20th century, according to the description at Druout.com (a translated version can be found at ArtDaily.org).

“The idea that a people would dedicate so much time and energy to the rise of celestial bodies fascinated our collector,” reads the auction’s description. “In his collection, the CROW MOTHER mask, Angwusnasomtaqa in the Hopi language, held pride of place, and he had to wait over 20 years to attend the Powamu rituals in early February, the only time the mother of all the Katsinam appears in the village. By his own admission, you have to see the masks in dances to fully appreciate 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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