Showing results 397 - 408 of 474 for the tag: Restitution.

December 14, 2008

When will Western museums return their looted artefacts?

Posted at 1:56 pm in Similar cases

Kwame Opoku talks about the accusations from museums that there is no formal demand for the return of artefacts – when in many cases there is a demand, but the institution would prefer to ignore it or not acknowledge it as a formal request.

From:
Afrikanet

Will western Museums now return some of the looted/stolen artefacts?
Datum: 14.12.08 21:46
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst

Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku

FORMAL DEMAND FOR THE RETURN OF BENIN BRONZES: WILL WESTERN MUSEUMS NOW RETURN SOME OF THE LOOTED/STOLEN BENIN ARTEFACTS?

“The restitution of those cultural objects which our museums and collections, directly or indirectly, possess thanks to the colonial system and are now being demanded, must also not be postponed with cheap arguments and tricks.”
Gert v. Paczensky and Herbert Ganslmayr, Nofretete will nach Hause (1)

We have often heard from those holding on to the looted/stolen Benin artefacts that there has not been any demand for their return by the owners. This is, of course, a blatant lie which often reminds one of an absurd theatre piece. A performer states clearly a view point and immediately thereafter, another character tells the audience that so far no such statement has been made. We have the remarkable situation in which the King of Benin, the Oba, writes in an introductory note in the catalogue of the exhibition Benin: Kings and Rituals -Court Arts from Nigeria requesting the return of some of the Benin cultural artefacts. Almost immediately thereafter, we have directors of four museums organizing the exhibition with the co-operation of Nigeria declaring in a preface that they have no intention of returning these objects and advising the Nigerians to forget the past and look to the future. (2) The Benin demand was also stated by the Enogie of Obazuwa, brother of the Oba, at the opening of the exhibition on 9 May 2008. Some months after the exhibition in Vienna, the show which went to Paris (October 2, 2007-January 6, 2008) moved to Berlin (February 7-May 25, 2008) and we had people from the Berlin Ethnology Museum creating the impression that there had been no request for the return of the Benin bronzes even though at the opening of the exhibition, the Nigerian Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Prince Adetokumbo Kayode, had clearly stated the wish of the Nigerians to have back their cultural objects. (3) What kind of game is this?
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December 5, 2008

Can we condemn contemporary looting without condemning colonial looting?

Posted at 10:42 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku gives some thoughts on Colin Renfrew’s review of James Cuno’s book.

From:
Afrikanet

Datum: 04.12.08 14:54
Kategorie: Kolumnen
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
COMMENTS ON LORD RENFREW’S STATEMENTS ON LOOTED ARTEFACTS
CAN WE CONDEMN CONTEMPORARY LOOTING OF ARTEFACTS WITHOUT CONDEMNING COLONIAL LOOT AND PLUNDER? COMMENTS ON LORD RENFREW’S STATEMENTS ON LOOTED ARTEFACTS

In his review of Cuno’s Who owns Antiquities?, (www.savingantiquities.org) Lord Renfrew sees as a weakness in Cuno’s argument a confusion between antiquities looted in recent times and plunder by imperial powers and declares:

“But the issues in the two cases – modern, clandestine looting, versus colonial or imperial appropriation, mainly during the nineteenth century and by the leading world powers of the day – are not the same”.
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Colin Renfrew on looted artefacts

Posted at 10:42 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Colin Renfrew has published his review of James Cuno’s book in The Burlington Magazine, reproduced here by SAFE.

From:
The Burlington Magazine

Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over our Ancient Heritage. By James Cuno.
228 pp. incl. 6 b. & w. ills. (Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2008), £14.95. ISBN 978–0–691–13712–4.
Reviewed by COLIN RENFREW
McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge

THE POLEMIC OVER what antiquities should be acquired by museums, and which ones they should decline in order to discourage the illicit traffic in them, has become much louder in recent months, with the reluctant return to Italy of antiquities, worth many millions of dollars, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. These, it was claimed, had been illicitly excavated and illegally exported in recent decades, a charge tacitly accepted by the museums which agreed to their return. In this readable and lucidly argued book James Cuno sets out what might, ten years ago, have been described as the art museum director’s case on the proprieties of ownership and acquisition. His position is still indeed held by the collection of which he is Director (the Art Institute of Chicago) along with such other influential institutions as the Metropolitan Museum or the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. But the times have moved on, and other museums, including now the Getty itself, have shown themselves willing to adopt more careful acquisition policies and to avoid buying antiquities which might have been the product of looting. Cuno here, thoughtfully and with well-chosen examples, reasserts the traditional view.
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December 2, 2008

Peru plans to sue Yale

Posted at 2:04 pm in Similar cases

The Peruvian government intends to Sue Yale University for the return of historic artefacts, following problems with the agreement previously reached with the institution.

From:
All News Web

Peru wants Machu Picchu artifacts back from Yale
2-12-2008
Peru wants Machu Picchu artifacts back from Yale

The government of Peru is moving ahead with plans to sue Yale University over thousands of valuable and historically significant artefacts that were sent there by Hawaiian born Hiram Bingham, the explorer and politician who rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. Peru’s justice ministry has already appointed a team of lawyers to deal with the case however details of where the case will be heard remain unconfirmed. It is believed that the case will be heard in the US so as to be binding on the Connecticut University.
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November 17, 2008

Manchester Museum to return Maori remains to New Zealand

Posted at 1:48 pm in Similar cases

Another success for New Zealand in securing the return of Maoris artefacts that contain human remains. Museums are willing to acknowledge now that it is right for them to return artefacts that involve human remains – with other cases though, they are still very reluctant to step forward.

From:
New Zealand Herald

British to hand back Maori remains
4:00AM Friday Nov 14, 2008

A British museum will return a collection of Maori remains to New Zealand this month.

Manchester Museum said yesterday it would hand over the remains in its collection, including a Maori skull and a fish hook made from human bone, to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
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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 27, 2008

The ethics of museum acquisitions

Posted at 2:00 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

In recent years, peple have started to ask more & more questions about how museums have acquired some of the artefacts in their collections. It is also clear that some of the museums are finding themselves in very uncomfortable situations because of this.

From:
Kansas City Star

Posted on Sat, Oct. 25, 2008
Ethical questions haunt museums’ acquisition of antiquities
By STEVE PAUL
The Kansas City Star

W hen the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art announced last year that it had acquired a colorful, ancient Egyptian coffin, officials presented a small sheaf of paperwork affirming that all was on the up and up.

This was no back-door, black-market deal involving improperly exported cultural patrimony, the documents were meant to say.
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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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