Showing results 397 - 408 of 465 for the tag: Restitution.

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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Chronicles of Mann to remain victims of anti-deaccessioning laws

Posted at 12:57 pm in Similar cases

The anti-deaccessioning laws that govern the British Museum & many of Britain’s other national museums & galleries are a consistent source of frustration for those pursuing restitution claims. Despite some loosening of the laws & other proposed changes, the regulations set out in the Acts of Parliament that govern these institutions stop most restitution claims from ever being properly considered.

The usual answer given is that whether or not they (the institution in question) wanted to return the artefacts, the law would not let them do so. This always seems like a bit of a smoke screen though – it is rare to see them suggesting that these laws are changed & one wonders what the next excuse would be once this barrier would be removed. On the other hand, as public opinion has shifted, the return of human remains has become a relatively accepted practise.

The case discussed below is also interesting, as it is a nominally intranational case in the same was as the Lindisfarne Gospels & the Lewis Chessmen.

From:
Iomtoday

Published Date: 23 October 2008
Chronicles won’t be coming home

ONE of the most important Manx historical documents will remain in the ownership of the British Library for the forseeable future, Chief Minister Tony Brown announced in Tynwald this week.
Enquiries had been made by the Manx government about the Chronicles of Mann being returned to the Island but hope was dashed because the British Library is legally obliged to keep its artefacts.

‘The ultimate aim was to have the Chronicles of Mann returned to the Isle of Man,’ Mr Brown said.
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October 23, 2008

Turkey wants Knidos Lion to be returned

Posted at 12:38 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The town of Datça in Turkey is asking for the return of the Knidos Lion & a statue of Demeter, artefacts from the area currently in the British Museum. This request follows on from others that Turkey has made in the past for artefacts that have been taken from the countries ancient sites.

From:
Today’s Zaman
23 October 2008, Thursday

Datça to seek return of ancient sculptures
The town of Datça, in Muğla province, is planning to apply to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for the return of a sculpture known as the “Knidos Lion” and a statue of Demeter. The pieces are currently being exhibited at the British Museum in London.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, the mayor of Datça, Erol Karakullukçu, said they want to take back the carvings, which were found in the ancient city of Knidos near Datça and that they will petition the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for their return. Karakullukçu said, “In order to keep the public aware that these sculptures were made in Datça thousands of years ago, and that they were taken to be exhibited in Britain, we made marble replicas of the original sculptures and exhibit them at the city park.”
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October 21, 2008

Why looted artefacts should be returned

Posted at 12:36 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku comments on yesterday’s news, that after sixty years, if may become legally possible for Britain’s national museums to return some artefacts that are known to have been taken illegally.

From:
Modern Ghana

WILL BRITAIN JOIN OTHER NATIONS IN RETURNING STOLEN/LOOTED ARTWORKS TO THE RIGHTFUL OWNERS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Mon, 20 Oct 2008

It looks as if Britain is finally coming to the conclusion that stolen/looted cultural objects should be returned to their rightful owners. According to a report in the Telegraph, new legislation is on the way to allow the British Museum and other national museums to return artworks that were stolen/looted by the Nazis. The legislation will be specifically limited to works stolen/looted during the Nazi era that are now in the possession of many British national galleries and museum. The position until now has been that even if one had all the necessary evidence that a particular piece of work hanging in the British institutions was stolen, confiscated by the Nazis or sold under intimidation to the evil men of Hitler, they could not return them to the owners. They could offer compensation to the owners.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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