Showing results 397 - 408 of 538 for the tag: Restitution.

August 21, 2009

Who owns the bones of Saint Canute?

Posted at 1:10 pm in Similar cases

Within Denmark, there is debate over who owns the bones of Saint Canute, although the discussion does not necessarily seem to extend to the actual location in which the remains are held in the way that pervades most restitution cases.

One should not forget that whilst Denmark has been very forward thinking about restitution cases with Greenland, Copenhagen’s National Museum continues to hold onto fragments from the Parthenon Sculptures.

From:
Copenhagen Post

Who owns Canute’s bones?
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 11:33 News
Submitted by Baron Joost Dahlerup

Not long ago, Greece requested that the British Museum return artefacts to the Acropolis. Likewise, Iceland has requested the Icelandic Sagas be returned. It is becoming more common to ask for original works of art and cultural artefacts to be returned to their countries of origin, so they can be viewed and admired where they belong.

The question, ‘Who owns St Canute’s earthly remains?’ has previously been brought up here in Denmark. Is it the Bishop of Odense or the Church Ministry? Is it the National Museum, or are they a personal possession of the royal family? Who has the final say – the Church Ministry, the Culture Ministry, the National Museum, or the Queen?
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The reasons given for non return of cultural property

Posted at 1:00 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

This is the second part of Kwame Opoku’s article on the reasons given by museums against restitution as a way of avoiding confronting the real issues.

From:
Modern Ghana

WOULD WESTERN MUSEUMS RETURN LOOTED OBJECTS IF NIGERIA AND OTHER AFRICAN STATES WERE RULED BY ANGELS? RESTITUTION AND CORRUPTION*
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | 12 hours ago

[…]

IV. What is to be done?
In view of the very clear position of the major Western museums not to return any of the looted/stolen African artefacts, what should be done? Below are few proposals in this regard.

1. Urgent examination of existing cooperation agreements and arrangements between African museums and Western museums.
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Would Westerm Museums return artefacts if they could?

Posted at 12:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Many of the museums of the West, when faced with restitution claims, have insisted that they would consider returning the artefacts – but they are unable to do so. Common reasons given include the security of the artefacts if they were returned, the lack of a suitable place to house them, or statutes that forbid deaccessioning. Are these institutions really speaking the truth though, ore merely trying to throw up more barriers to prevent any sort of serious discussion of the real issues involved.

Due to the length of this piece I am reproducing it here in two parts.

From:
Modern Ghana

WOULD WESTERN MUSEUMS RETURN LOOTED OBJECTS IF NIGERIA AND OTHER AFRICAN STATES WERE RULED BY ANGELS? RESTITUTION AND CORRUPTION*
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | 12 hours ago

Corruption, like tango, requires two partners.

A seminal study by Peju Layiwola, dealt with the question of the cultural memory of a people whose development has been brutally interrupted and their cultural objects seized by a foreign invader. (1) In the specific case of Benin, the British seized more than 3000 artefacts during their nefarious invasion in 1879. (2) This date and the invasion have remained memorable for the people of Benin, Nigeria and the continent of Africa.

Peju Layiwola whose mother, Princess Elisabeth Olowu, is a well-known artist, was born in the Palace of the Oba in Benin City during the reign of Oba Akenzua II, her maternal grandfather. Peju spent her childhood in Benin City, went to school there and did her first degree at the University of Benin. Her doctoral dissertation at the University of Ibadan dealt with contemporary Benin brass casting. Peju is therefore from family affiliation, from childhood experience and education linked to Benin and inevitably, since she was drawn to art in her infancy, to the arts of Benin and the tragic loss of the Benin bronzes through the British invasion. The important question then is not why Peju is concerned by the continued loss of the Benin Bronzes but rather why some people are less concerned or even indifferent to attempts to recover looted or stolen artefacts.
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August 17, 2009

Museums & governments must enter into dialogues over looted artefacts

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

The Director of the National Museum of African Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution talks about partnerships with museums abroad. The issue of repatriation is also discussed, with the suggestion that there should be a serious dialogue going on to resolve some of these cases. All too often unfortunately, institutions such as the British Museum make pre-requisite demands that must be satisfied before talks can take place – as an effective way of neutering any possible discussions.

From:
The Guardian (Nigeria)

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Africa Must Partner To Correct Marginalisation, says Johnetta Cole

SINCE the beginning of the year the National Museum, Lagos has been in the centre of intense efforts to reposition it to play its pivotal role of showcasing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage to the world. Such recent efforts saw the director of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, US, Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole visiting Nigeria in a partnership being forged by the Ford Foundation. In this interview with ANOTE AJELUOROU, she talks about the timeliness of the partnership between the two institutions and the Owo art exhibition being planned to commemorate Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversary in the US and Nigeria.
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The repatriation of human remains from Britain’s museums

Posted at 12:42 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The reunification of human remains held in museums with Aboriginal groups is a hot topic at the moment in Australia. The Human Tissue Act made the return of many such artefacts possible, but there are still many who claim that such returns are removing a key source of scientific & anthropological study – to the detriment of the institutions that currently held the artefacts.

Listen to the original programme here.

From:
ABC (Australia)

Regarding human remains
12 August 2009
The collection and display of human remains and human body parts were once legitimate activities for the great universal museums. Rear Vision tracks the changes in attitudes towards such displays from outside the museum world as well as from within.

CLACKING/CHANTING

Man: We’re gathered here today to welcome our old people back home.

Reporter: The Naranjeri remains were stolen from 27 gravesites between 1898 and 1906 by the controversial Adelaide coroner, Dr William Ramsay Smith. He sold livers, hearts and skeletons on the open market, all in the name of research.

Keri Phillips: During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, collectors, traders and amateur and professional scientists from the developed world amassed enormous collections from all over the globe. These collections often contained human remains, everything from tattooed human skin and skulls to the bones of lepers and other diseased body parts. Early on, but especially during the 20th century, many of these collections were bequeathed to museums but as time wore on and museums began to change from research institutions to places of public display, questions began to be raised both within and outside the museum community about the ethics and legality of the collection, retention and display of humans and human body parts. In recent decades, some museums have begun to repatriate their collection of human remains.
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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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August 10, 2009

Where do the Elgin Marbles belong?

Posted at 1:02 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Both Greece & Britain argue that they have a claim to the Parthenon Marbles. The British case however is getting progressively weaker following the opening of the New Acropolis Museum & many decisions by other museums around the world to restore disputed artefacts to their original owners.

From:
Examiner

The Elgin Marbles: Where do they belong?
August 7, 12:49 PM – Archeological Travel Examiner
Gwynneth Anderson

…And so it happened that the Lapith peoples celebrated the wedding of the brave warrior Perithous to his fair maiden, Hippodame. All were invited to the nuptial feast – even the cloud-begotten race of Centaurs, those half men, half beasts. But when a bevy of glittering nymphs finally brought forth the lovely bride, the brutish centaur Eurytus, half crazed from wine and lust, rose from his place and attacked her, inciting his fellow centaurs to do the same.

Greatly angered, the mighty warrior Theseus snatched the bride free from her ghastly assaulter, smashing a heavy goblet against the head of Eurytus who fell thunderously to the floor, choking on his own blood, brains and teeth.
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July 27, 2009

Former Metropolitan Museum director talks about restitution of artefacts

Posted at 12:46 pm in Similar cases

Former Met director Philippe de Montebello has given a talk in which he speaks about the issues of restitution affecting museums. Based on previous comments, it is unsurprising that he is against the idea of restitution. What is puzzling is that even after the return of the Euphronios Krater from his own museum he still doesn’t seem to understand the problem – he sees it as something that should only ever be dealt with when legal reasons dictate that an artefacts should be returned & never for a philosophical / ethical reason. This skips neatly over the fact of why many of the laws allowing return are what they are, whereas legal action should be the last resort after other more amicable negotiation methods fail. He also introduces an odd idea of entitlement – that people should be able to see artefacts in locations other than their original locations (e.g. New York), but with little explanation of why this should be the case or who decides this.

From:
Bangor Daily News

7/25/09
Former Met director talks at Strand
By Jessica Bloch – BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Philippe de Montebello is considered one of the most powerful men in the world of art. Yet de Montebello, who recently retired after 31 years as the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, joked Thursday evening that he grew to dread the renowned art experts who worked under him.

“I have the utmost respect, and fear, of curators,” said de Montebello, who participated in a question-and-answer session at the Strand Theatre with Roger Dell, the Farnsworth Art Museum’s director of education, as part of the museum’s Farnsworth Forum series.
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July 22, 2009

Aboriginal artefacts not covered by the Human Tissue Act up for discussion

Posted at 1:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

There have been many cases in recent years where museums in the UK have returned Aboriginal artefacts that consist of (or incorporate) human remains. New negotiations involving bark etchings however are interesting, as there is no clear indication from the article that there is any connection with human remains. Technically this would mean that the British Museum was legally forbidden from returning them, although there is the possibility of some form of loan, as was used with the Kwakwaka’wakw mask returned to Canadian first Nations people.

From:
Melbourne Sun Herald

British Museum may hand back Aboriginal artifacts
AAP
July 22, 2009 12:21pm

THE British Museum has begun talks with Victorian Aboriginals about the possible return of rare bark etchings believed to be more than 150 years old.
The three etchings, estimated to be worth more than $1 million, have been held in London for many years after their collection by Victorian landowner John Hunter Kerr near Lake Boort in the 1850s.

When they were lent to Museum Victoria along with a ceremonial headdress for a temporary display in 2004, members of the Dja Dja Wurrung tribe dramatically seized hold of them and demanded they be returned to the Boort area.
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The Elgin Coins?

Posted at 12:39 pm in Similar cases

An interesting story only because of its location in Elgin (yes – I know that Lord Elgin’s house was not actually in Elgin). A local museum wants artefacts returned, or compensation for artefacts that are being held onto by a national museum that they were sent to for research purposes.

From:
Numismaster

Museums Squabble Over Treasure Coins
By Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News
July 20, 2009

Usually the British treasure trove laws work favorably to protect the amateur finder, professional archaeologists and museums that may become involved in any find. I said, “Usually.”

In recent years, all sorts of artifacts have been found in a field at Clarkly Hill in Burghead, Scotland, by people with metal detectors. Among the many artifacts are some Roman coins, two gold finger rings believed to date from the fifth and the 12th centuries, a gold earring believed to be Roman, and some odd and curious or primitive gold ring money understood to date from the Bronze Age.
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July 21, 2009

Neil MacGregor’s claims that the Elgin Marbles will not return

Posted at 12:59 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

For some reason, it appears that Neil MacGregor is now guaranteed positive coverage whenever he writes a piece for, or is interview by The Times. It seems that whatever claims he makes regarding his reasons for retention of the Parthenon Sculptures are accepted with little question or analysis.

The problem in many cases is that whilst what the British Museum is saying may be construed as a valid approach to take, it is represented as being the only valid approach, without considering the range of other possibilities or the views & sensibilities of others.

The Elgin Marbles or the Rosetta Stone may well have changed history – but there is no clear evidence that this was only the case because of the fact that they were in the British Museum.

Following the initial article are two more articles also on the British Museum, followed by a response by Kwame Opoku.

From:
The Times

July 18, 2009
Neil MacGregor lifts British Museum’s ambition to new heights
Tristram Hunt: Commentary

This is why the Elgin Marbles are not going back. With characteristic panache, Neil MacGregor is once again making the case for the British Museum as a museum of all mankind. In 100 episodes based around 100 objects from the Bloomsbury collection, Mr MacGregor aims to cement the British Museum’s Enlightenment credentials. And he’s doing so with some ambitious inter-disciplinary thinking.

To tell a story of the world in 15 minutes through a series of objects requires a sure grasp of cultural and social anthropology. Mr MacGregor, whose most celebrated exhibition during his tenure at the National Gallery was the Seeing Salvation display of Renaissance iconography, has long understood the allure of artefacts. Indeed, he is sometimes accused of seeking to blur — in an increasingly agnostic age — the boundaries between the secular and the religious by investing the British Museum’s objects with an almost spiritual significance. But in going beyond the obviously material, in explaining the broader cultural and social currency of the collection, he will give the story of these objects a relevance far in excess of their historic context.
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What’s in a name? Who owns the Rosetta Stone

Posted at 12:39 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

In a case that only tenuously relates to restitution claims, a software manufacturer is involved in legal action with Google over the fact that other companies may be taking out adverts that are set to appear when the name of their business is entered in a search. What makes this semi-relevant though is that the name of the company is Rosetta Stone – so one would have thought that at present any actual ownership claimed on the name might belong to the British Museum. Of course though this is not the end of the cycle either – Egypt disputes the British Museum’s ownership of the stone & as such would have the rights to the name of the stone.

The question that this raises, is what gives others the right to re-appropriate a term & call it their own, to the extent of trying to prevent others from using it – a situation not dis-similar from the British Museum’s current claims that artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone are now integral to their own collections & therefore can not be returned to their true owners.

From:
Telecom TV

Google v. Rosetta Stone: the case of the stolen words
Posted By TelecomTV One , 17 July 2009

What’s in a word? Often a lot of money for a start. And where there’s money there’s lawyers. And where there’s lawyers there is, sometimes, a measure of clarity. By Ian Scales.

At least the issues get a good outing. The Google v. Rosetta Stone case is currently raging in the US courts and it’s about when and to what extent a word could or should be controlled by those who claim it as a trademark.
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