Showing results 37 - 48 of 474 for the tag: Restitution.

October 20, 2013

A report from the Roundtable on the Parthenon Marbles held in Brussels.

Posted at 12:34 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, International Association, Marbles Reunited, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

In addition to the articles I posted earlier, Marbles Reunited has written a report on the event held in Brussels earlier this week, and Tom Flynn has also posted a transcript of his talk.

The report that follows is based on my notes taken during the event. I have not tried to capture everything, just the key points. I am hoping that my comments do not misrepresent what the speakers were saying – some it was from the live translation there, and some of it was from the responses to questions afterwards, rather than from the original speeches.

After introductions by Krister Kumlin & a brief video, Tom Flynn was the first speaker, and pointed out, that when considering the acquisition of obviously looted artefacts “Most museums now know better”. The thing is of course, how to get museums to act retrospectively – to apply the rules that they would use now to actions that they made well before their current rules and guidelines came into force.

He also added, that “Nowadays, the social network acts as a critical filter to the acquisition of disputed artefacts”. This is a good point, as museums nowadays have a far greater interaction with the public than perhaps ever before. People’s opinions mean more to them than they ever used to, and as a result, it is important to let museums know if what you think they are doing is morally unacceptable.

German MEP Jo Leinen had a simple message – drawing on the words of another German politician, he quoted Willie Brandt “we have to unite what belongs together”.

The Spanish MEP, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez took a slightly different viewpoint from some of the other speakers, looking at this action by Britain, in the context of other actions that occur within Europe. He felt that it was particularly important that the countries of northern Europe, in some way recognise that although they might be economically the powerhouses of Europe today, they still owe so much culturally to the Mediterranean countries in the South of Europe. He stressed a message that Campaigns such as Marbles Reunited have also long emphasised, that “It is not about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens, but about reuniting them”.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 7, 2013

Greek Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos addresses the IARPS about the current strategies

Posted at 8:25 am in Elgin Marbles, International Association

The International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures (IARPS) held a general meeting in Athens yesterday, to which representatives from all member organisations were invited.

During the course of the meeting, as well as being given a tour of the latest restoration works at the Acropolis, they were addressed by the Greek Minister of culture, Panos Panagiotopoulos.

From:
International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos addresses the IARPS
Mon, 2013-10-07 08:06

Member organisations from the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures met in Athens yesterday.

During the course of the meeting, Panos Panagiotopoulos, the Greek Culture Minister addressed us, with his thoughts on the issue.

He emphasised the requests for the return of the marbles do not stem from Greek nationalism: “This is not an effort that starts from nationalism, this is not an effort to reinforce the ego of a European Nation. This is an effort that is deeply universal, to restore the unity of a cultural monument for all humanity.”
Read the rest of this entry »

October 3, 2013

Could mediation through UNESCO offer a solution to the Parthenon Marbles issue?

Posted at 5:44 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Greece has announced today, that it is has sent letters to the British government, in order to initiate a mediation process via UNESCO. I have known about this proposed initiative for some time, but was unable to say anything about it before the news became public.

If the mediation proceeds, it will be a test case for UNESCO (or more specifically the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to Its Countries of Origin or Its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation). The rules for mediation were brought in a few years ago, but this will be the first case to use them.

I think that it is a great step forward, as for a long time, the lack of proper political action from Greece has left the British Museum in a situation where they feel that they are sitting comfortably with nothing that they need to respond to.

You can read the full rules under which the mediation will take place (if the UK agrees to enter into the process) here.

From:
Greek Reporter

UNESCO Mediates Parthenon Marbles Fight
By Maria Korologou on October 3, 2013

On October 6 in Athens the International Conference of committees will be held, which is a very important moment for the effort to return the Parthenon Marbles.

After the meeting of the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports with the Director-General of UNESCO in July 2013 in Paris, during which Panos Panagiotopoulos asked from Irina Bokova to exercise her personal and institutional influence in order for the mediation process with the British side to be initiated, the leading international organization for culture addressed a letter to the British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller and the Director of the British Museum Robert Neil MacGregor.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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?
Read the rest of this entry »

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’.
Read the rest of this entry »

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”.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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
Read the rest of this entry »