Showing results 397 - 408 of 459 for the tag: Restitution.

October 18, 2008

What can be learnt from the Egyptian approach to restitution

Posted at 2:05 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass has championed the cause of cultural property restitution in Egypt in recent years. What can other countries learn from his approach?

From:
Afrikanet

Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Friday, 17 October 2008
SHALL WE LEARN FROM ZAHI HAWASS ON HOW TO RECOVER STOLEN/LOOTED CULTURAL OBJECTS?

We may not all agree with Zahi Hawass in his style and manner of approach to the issue of restitution of stolen or looted artefacts but there is no denying that the famous Egyptologist, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, has been extremely effective in his tasks and knows his job. This is no mean feat in a period where some of those having the fate of millions in their hands do not seem to have mastered their jobs.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 12, 2008

The British Museum’s claims to the Rosetta Stone

Posted at 6:22 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Jonathan Downs, the author of Discovery at Rosetta, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, has kindly sent me the text of the concluding chapter of this book. This chapter looks at the case for the return of the Rosetta Stone to Egypt – both its legality & the arguments surrounding it. The case for the restitution of the Rosetta Stone has a lot of parallels with the Parthenon Marbles – their acquisitions were roughly contemporaneous, they both came from outposts of what was at that time the Ottoman Empire, They both ended up in the British Museum.

The author has also offered to respond to any queries that people make in the comments on this message.

From:
Jonathan Downs (by email)

The following is an extract from Discovery at Rosetta (by Jonathan Downs, Constable, 2008, pp.210-215) outlining the current status of the Rosetta Stone, the facts governing its legal ownership and its possible repatriation to Egypt:

THE ROSETTA STONE: A PROUD TROPHY?

Despite the Rosetta Stone’s public profile, historically its status as an exhibit in the British Museum has not been nearly as contested as that of the ‘Elgin’ or Parthenon Marbles. To many it is immediately recognizable and more memorable than the sculptures that were formerly part of the Athenian Acropolis. This is understandable; until the end of the 1990s the Rosetta Stone rested on an angled frame close to the entrance of the museum – unavoidable, it was one of the first objects to be encountered, and crowds of visitors have gathered round it for the past two hundred years. Cleaned by conservators, it now occupies an equally prominent position in the centre of the Egypt collection by the Great Court entrance, upright within a protective case, still one of the most famous objects in the world. Before the arrival of the antiquities from Egypt in 1802, the British Museum contained little grand sculpture, its halls filled chiefly with smaller curiosities. The acquisition of the Rosetta Stone and the cargo from the Alexandria victory was an important step in the development of the institution.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 10, 2008

What benefit does Africa get from collaboration in international exhibitions

Posted at 12:58 pm in Similar cases

In today’s globalised climate of art exhibitions drawing artefacts from around the world, much is made of the benefits to everyone of sourcing these pieces that might otherwise have not been seen. Is this something that really benefits the source communities though, or is it more of a one way process?

From:
Modern Ghana

DOES COLLABORATION BETWEEN NIGERIAN AND EUROPEAN /AMERICAN MUSEUMS BRING US CLOSER TO RESTITUTION OF NIGERIA’S STOLEN/LOOTED ARTS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sat, 08 Nov 2008

As readers may know, many Africans are very suspicious of collaboration with museums and institutions that have shown by their history and practice that they do not care much for the interest and feelings of Nigerians and Africans generally. In the article below by Tajudeen Sowole, a Nigerian art critic raises several issues concerning the cooperation between Nigerian museums and institutions with European/American museums. In particular, he wonders whether the collaboration between the Nigerian institutions and American/European museums in the recent exhibition Benin: Kings and Rituals-Court Arts from Nigeria has brought us closer to the restitution of the Benin artifacts or whether these objects will remain in Europe under the pretext that they are part of the universal heritage of mankind.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 25, 2008

Lewis Chessmen to be discussed

Posted at 9:37 am in British Museum, Similar cases

After a lot of coverage at the start of the year, it appears that efforts to secure the return of the Lewis Chessmen to Scotland are still underway, with the Scottish Culture Minister due to meet Neil MacGregor to discuss the issue.

From:
Stornoway Gazette

Chessmen could celebrate ‘Homecoming’ on Lewis
25 September 2008
By Michelle Robson

THE LEWIS Chessmen could be coming home next year as part of Scotland’s national celebrations.
2009 is the Year of the Homecoming and Scottish Ministers are hoping the British Museum will agree to return the historical items to their finding place.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said this week that she was due to meet the Director of the British Museum on October 6 to discuss the issue further.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 24, 2008

More on the Palermo fragment return

Posted at 1:16 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

Further coverage of the return of the Palermo fragment from the Parthenon Sculptures. The move to repatriate the piece ties in with the opening of the Nostoi exhibition in the New Acropolis Museum, displaying looted artefacts that Italy has recovered in recent years.

It is also worth mentioning that tow more fragments (both currently in the Vatican) are also expected to return to Athens shortly.

From:
Sydney Morning Herald

Italy returns long lost Parthenon fragment to Greece
September 24, 2008 – 2:05AM

Italy has returned to Greece the ‘Palermo fragment’, a marble piece of the Athens Parthenon missing for nearly 200 years, officials said Tuesday.

The sculpted fragment of the ancient Greek hunt goddess Artemis, part of the eastern Parthenon frieze depicting the twelve gods of Olympus, had been in the collection of the Antonio Salinas Archaeological Museum of Palermo.
Read the rest of this entry »

A piece of the Parthenon sculptures is returned

Posted at 12:43 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Following occasional hints in the preceding weeks from the Greek press & yesterday’s meeting of Greek & Italian presidents, the Palermo fragment from the Parthenon frieze has now been returned on loan to Athens.

This is not the first piece from the Parthenon sculptures to be returned, but follows on from the reunification of another smaller piece by Heidelberg University two years previously.

The Palermo fragment return has a long history to it & efforts have been ongoing to secure its loan despite previous attempts that failed. It was originally taken from Greece by Lord Elgin & found its way to Palermo as a gift, separated from the remaining Elgin Marbles in London.

The British Museum have tried in the past to argue that the Parthenon Sculptures are spread across many different locations & that their institution should not be specifically be targeted. The number of other institutions holding on to fragments of the sculptures is rapidly falling though, making the British Museum’s argument progressively weaker.

From:
Associated Press

Italy returns piece of Parthenon Marbles to Greece
By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS – 15 hours ago

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has finally taken possession of a chunk of the Elgin Marbles, and now holds renewed hopes of regaining the rest.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Tuesday presented Greek authorities with a small piece of sculpture from the Parthenon kept in a museum in Palermo, Sicily, for the past 200 years.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 15, 2008

How often does Nigeria have to ask for artefacts to be returned?

Posted at 4:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As with the Elgin Marbles, many looted Nigerian artefacts are similarly split between different museums around the world – at the start of this article, an illustration is given of a plaque showing a soldier – the top half of it is in the British Museum & the bottom half of it is in London. None of it is currently in Nigeria.

From:
Modern Ghana

BERLIN PLEA FOR THE RETURN OF NIGERIA’S CULTURAL OBJECTS: HOW OFTEN MUST NIGERIA ASK FOR THE RETURN OF ITS STOLEN CULTURAL OBJECTS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Mon, 15 Sep 2008

When I read reports on the opening of the exhibition Benin Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria on 8 February 2008, at the Ethnology Museum, Berlin, I was surprised by the general impression given that the Nigerians were in no hurry to recover the stolen Benin bronzes; they were said to be more interested in co-operation with the Ethnology Museum and above all, in establishing an inventory of the Benin artefacts. (2)

As readers know by now, it has become a hallmark of this travelling exhibition that speeches made at the opening are not fully reported. The museum hosting the exhibition does not issue any full report on the opening. The reason seems to be the desire to avoid raising issues fundamental to the relations between the hosts and Nigeria, such as the issue of restitution of the Benin bronzes. Experience however, has shown that wherever this travelling exhibition went there were controversies regarding restitution. Questions were raised in different manners and with different intensities.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 2, 2008

Are we any closer to restitution today?

Posted at 12:52 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

With many cultural property disputes, restitution is no closer now than it was twenty years ago. However the climate for restitution is currently more favourable than ever before.

From:
Modern Ghana

ARE WE GETTING CLOSER TO THE SEASON FOR RESTITUTION?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Mon, 01 Sep 2008

At a seminar on Edo Culture organized by the Edo Community in Vienna on Friday 29 August 2008 where I spoke on the restitution of the Benin bronzes to well-informed and enthusiastic participants, the question was asked whether there was any hope of the British ever returning the Benin bronzes they stole in 1897. My answer was that even though we are no where near the season of restitution of the thousands of cultural objects stolen from Africa by the European powers – Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal – there has never been a more favourable climate for restitution than now. There are factors which should encourage the intensification of a search for solutions to this shameful phenomenon in international relations:
Read the rest of this entry »

August 18, 2008

The return of Namibian Skulls by Germany

Posted at 12:45 pm in Similar cases

Kwame Opoku writes about the return of human remains to Africa from Germany & how the process is frustrated by the need for official requests to be made in the correct way.

From:
Modern Ghana

BONES DO NOT DIE: GERMANS TO RETURN NAMIBIAN SKULLS.
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sun, 17 Aug 2008

“I, the great general of the German troops, send this letter to the Herero people… All Hereros must leave this land… Any Herero found within the German borders with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I shall no longer receive any women or children; I will drive them back to their people. I will shoot them. This is my decision for the Herero people.” (The German commander General von Trotha)

We have had the occasion to refer to the problem of the thousands of African human remains that are still in European museums many decades after independence and the duty to repatriate them on dignified terms and conditions. *

As indicated in the report below, the Germans have stated their willingness to return 47 Namibian skulls. However, the Germans are insisting on an official request from the Namibian government. The Namibian Prime Minister, Nahas Angula, has rightly responded that when the Germans were taking away those skulls they did not ask anybody for permission.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 7, 2008

Kenyan cultural property

Posted at 12:52 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More information on the request by Kenya for the return of numerous cultural artefacts from museums & institutions around the world.

From:
ArtInfo

Kenya Demands Return of Significant Artifacts
By ARTINFO
Published: August 6, 2008

NAIROBI—Kenya is asking for the return of artifacts of significant national importance that are currently owned by museums in the United States and England, the Independent reports. More than 2,000 artifacts housed in the British Museum and thousands more held by U.S. museums and in private collections are being compiled by Kenyan officials into a list of significant objects that the country wants repatriated.

In the past, attempts by Kenya to get artifacts returned were countered by arguments that the country did not have suitable facilities for them. But last month, the new National Museum, whose renovation was financed by the European Union, opened in Nairobi, and Kenyan heritage officials now insist that they can care for all types of objects.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 6, 2008

Kenya requests that its history is returned

Posted at 1:15 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A commentary of Kenya’s request for the return of artefacts by Kwame Opoku.

From:
Afrikanet

Kenya demands once again the restitution of Artefacts
Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Wednesday, 06 August 2008

As we have often emphasized in our various articles, no one intends to empty the European museums of all the African objects but there must be a selection of those the European and American museums can keep and those the African owners want back home. As the Director-General of Kenya’s National Museums has stated in the report below, we want people in Europe and America to see our artefacts but the most important ones must return home to where they belong. Is this not fair enough? In these days when museum directors and others are talking about the “heritage of mankind”, should the producers of these artefacts also not have their own share of the “heritage of mankind”? Or does that heritage belong only to those who have acquired the artefacts under dubious circumstances?
Read the rest of this entry »