Showing results 1 - 12 of 35 for the tag: Scotland.

September 18, 2014

The impact of Scottish independence on the British Museum

Posted at 12:46 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

This article was published some time ago, but its content is still relevant today.

Everyone reading this weebsite hopefully realises that the so called Elgin Marbles were not from Elgin, nor did they ever pass through Scotland to the best of my knowledge. The fact remains though, that they were brought to the UK by a Scotsman, although subsequently purchased off him by the British Government. Whilst they might not be under contention in Scotland’s independence debate, many of the other artefacts may well be more closely tied to Scotland than to Britain.

Further to this, the British Museum is a national museum for the whole of the UK – if a country was to split from the union, would they then be entitled to a percentage share of all the artefacts in the collection.

Neil MacGregor refuses to answer any of these questions, saying that they will be considered as & when the issue becomes real for them.

Lewis Chessmen - discovered in Scotland, but many of them are now in the British Museum

Lewis Chessmen – discovered in Scotland, but many of them are now in the British Museum

From:
Guardian

What would be the implications for the British Museum if Scotland voted for independence?
If Scotland became independent after 2014, the British Museum would be presented with an “existential question”, according to its director Neil MacGregor
Tuesday 25 June 2013

“Let’s jump off that bridge when we get to it,” said Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, when pressed on the putative future of the institution were Scotland to become independent.

The question was raised at a British Museum press conference today not by a journalist, but, intriguingly, by Gus O’Donnell, cabinet secretary under three prime ministers and once the most powerful civil servant in the land.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 11, 2012

Giovanni Battista Lusieri – Lord Elgin’s artist’s works go on display in Edinburgh’s National Gallery

Posted at 1:14 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

Giovanni Battista Lusieri is famous to many as the artist employed by Lord Elgin, who was instrumental in the process of removal of the marbles from the Parthenon.

Originally, Lord Elgin had considered a number of possible artists for his trip – one of who was the (then not so famous & therefore deemed unsuitable for the role) J M W Turner. Lusieri ended up with the job & produced many sketches & paintings of the Parthenon both before & after the removal of the marbles. He stayed in Athens long after Lord Elgin had left & all of the works from this period were unfortunately lost at sea, when the ship carrying them, the Cambria, was wrecked off the coast of Crete in 1828.

A new exhibition looks at some of his other paintings which have survived however – from this one might get an idea of how the works made in Athens would have looked.

From:
Financial Times

July 1, 2012 7:05 pm
Expanding Horizons: Giovanni Battista Lusieri and the Panoramic Landscape, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
By Jackie Wullschlager

This is the first show devoted to the once sought-after painter of monuments and volcanos

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/3e8a16ee-c1d8-11e1-b76a-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz20JvOhUDt
Read the rest of this entry »

June 14, 2012

Drawing comparisons – why long term loan is possible for the Lewis Chessmen, but not the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 1:49 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Some further coverage of the British Museum’s plans to return some of the Lewis Chessmen to the Island of Stornoway in 2014 on a long term loan.

I find this story interesting for a number of reasons, as there are certain comparisons that can be drawn with the case of the Parthenon Marbles (although there are of course many differences). Historically, when Greece has requested the return of the Elgin Marbles, the British Museum has fallen back on the anti-deaccessioning clauses in the 1963 British Museum Act, which the institution is legally obliged to abide by. Greece in response has on various occasions suggested that the reunification of the Marbles could still be possible in the form of a long term / or renewable loan, whereby the British Museum would still retain the ownership rights, but the sculptures would be in display in Athens.

It has been suggested by some at the British Museum that such an action could not constitute a loan – that a loan can only be for a short term & that anything else is ownership be another name (& therefore forbidden under the British Museum Act 1963).

There are certain other difficulties however in the case of the Marbles. Previously, while Minister of Culture, Antonis Samaras, has insisted that Greece would not accept a short term loan of the sculptures (three to four months is a typical inter-museum loan duration), as such a move would acknowledge & legitimise the museum’s ownership of the artefacts. On top of this, the British Museum counters that acceptance by the receiving party of the Museum’s ownership of the artefacts in question are one of their standard terms that must be agreed to before they proceed with any loans. Greece has once indicated that it would accept ownership rights by the British Museum, but the statement was later retracted as having been a mis-quotation.

Now, it seems that despite the fact that the British Museum claims that there is no such thing as a long term loan, some of the Lewis Chessmen are now going to return on one. They are for that matter, not the only artefacts that have avoided the terms of the British Museum Act by taking the route of a semi-permanent loan.

So it would appear that there is good evidence, in multiple cases, that something described as a long term loan is a possible means of returning artefacts.

Now back to the similarities between the Elgin Marbles & the Lewis Chessmen (& also the differences).

Firstly, the Lewis Chessmen (at least the ones being returned to Scotland) are currently housed in the British Museum, with others in Edinburgh.

Secondly, a new museum has been built, to display the artefacts, countering the argument that there is nowhere to house them safely if they were returned.

The differences however, are that the Scottish are (I presume) acknowledging that the British Museum owns the Lewis Chessmen & tat only a few of the chessmen are actually returning – this is a small percentage of the total – and there don’t appear to be any plans to expand this loan, whereas Greek requests have been for all of the Parthenon Marbles that are in the Museum.

The Lewis Chessmen are not such a clear cut case as that of the Parthenon Marbles – they are loose items, that were probably in the process of travelling when they ended up in Lewis – there is nothing known to connect them to the island, other than the fact that it is where they were rediscovered. Indeed, arguments have been made that they rightfully belong in Norway. The Parthenon Marbles on the other hand, are part of a larger whole – the frieze panels themselves are not only like the pages of a book split between two locations, but were designed to form part of a work of architecture (the Parthenon) which still survives. On top of this, there is no suggestion that the Chessmen ended up in the British Museum illegally, unlike the contested details of the firman used by Elgin to validate his ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures.

So – on the basis of the existing cases, what does it take to get the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? Does it all come down to acknowledging ownership? This fact has been a stumbling block with previous attempts to negotiate with the the British Museum. Or if the ownership was acknowledged, would the British Museum then fall back on other reasons for blocking the return – with the end reason being that it just doesn’t want to return them? Perhaps we should look at it as two interwoven disputes here – one over ownership & one over the location for display / reunification of the sculptures. One possible way out, is of course to bring (& win) legal action in a British or international court, over the ownership of the Marbles.

The other point to bear in mind, is that these terms might only secure the return of a small portion of the sculptures – although the hope if that if the return of a small portion was successful & the terms of the loan agreement were met, then te return of the remainder would follow as a logical conclusion to the process.

From:
Scotsman

At least six Lewis chessmen to return home after deal struck with British Musuem
Published on Wednesday 13 June 2012 22:09

SIX of the priceless world famous chessmen will feature in the permanent displays at the new Museum and Archive at Lews Castle when it opens in 2014 after a £13.5m revamp.

The chessmen will be on “permanent loan” to the new museum

Previously Western Isles MP Mr MacNeil has demanded the “repatriation” of the British Museum’s 82 priceless Viking chess pieces back to Scotland. Another 11 are in the hands of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Read the rest of this entry »

British Museum to permanently return some of Lewis Chessmen to Stornoway in 2014

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

After briefly returning to Scotland in 2010, some of the Lewis Chessmen are going to return on a semi permanent basis to the island where they were discovered. It is unclear how much SNP leader Alex Salmond’s demands for their return have led to this decision & moreover, whether the British Museum is getting anything in return for the deal. I am very interested to find out more details of the exact loan agreement that has been made.

From:
BBC News

13 June 2012 Last updated at 15:20
Historic Lewis Chessmen returning to Western Isles

Six Lewis Chessmen are to be displayed long-term at a new museum on the Western Isles, where more than 90 of the historic pieces were found.

An agreement has been reached between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) and the British Museum.
Read the rest of this entry »

April 23, 2012

Hypocricy in Scotland over the return of cultural treasures

Posted at 12:44 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Scotland regularly makes demands for the Lewis Chessmen to be returned from the British Museum – to Edinburgh. It tends to take a different approach though to cases that are entirely within the country – it becomes a cases that any location is good enough for the artefact, as long as it is in Scotland.

From:
Shetland News

Treasure hypocrisy
Friday, 20 April 2012 | Written by Shetland News

SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has accused the Scottish government of hypocrisy over the St Ninian’s Isle treasure.

During Parliamentary Question Time at Holyrood, Mr Scott quizzed culture secretary Fiona Hyslop on the SNP government’s call for the Lewis Chessmen to be returned to the western isles from the British Museum.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 19, 2012

The closest the Lewis Chessmen got to their home

Posted at 2:01 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Having worked their way through various museums in their current tour, the Lewis Chessmen are going to be put on display in the local museum in Uig, close to where they were found. The catch – they are only on display there for four and a half hours, and the exhibitions there will only include a small percentage of the total collection.

From:
BBC News

8 September 2011 Last updated at 11:48
Lewis Chessmen return ‘home’ to Uig Museum exhibition

Six Lewis Chessmen are to go on display at a museum close to where more than 90 of the historic pieces were found buried in a sand dune in 1831.

A knight, pawn, warder, king, queen and bishop will be on public display at Uig Museum for four-and-a-half hours on 13 September.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 29, 2011

The Lewis Chessmen visit Stornoway museum

Posted at 1:55 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As part of their tour during which more of the collection is temporarily reunited, the Lewis Chessmen are now going on display in Stornoway – the closest that they have been to the location that they were first discovered.

From:
BBC News

15 April 2011 Last updated at 00:29
Lewis Chessmen exhibition opens in Stornoway museum

Some of the historic Lewis Chessmen have gone on display on the island where they were found more than 150 years ago.

More than 30 of the 12th Century pieces are being shown at the exhibition at Museum nan Eilean in Stornoway.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 17, 2011

The case for the restitution of the William Wallace passport

Posted at 2:07 pm in Similar cases

Another week, another restitution case that gets compared to the Parthenon Marbles. While these cases may well have their own merits for return, any sort of comparison with other cases can be very misleading, particularly where the Parthenon Sculptures are concerned. setting aside any issues of how they were acquired, the Parthenon Marbles were part of a greater whole, both in terms of the remaining surviving sculptures & in terms of the building of which they formed an integral part. In other words, their context was fixed – they were not designed to be seen anywhere else other than in the context of the Acropolis. Many other artefacts however, were never designed for a specific location – their cases is purely one of ownership, meaning that it has far less weight to it than the Parthenon Sculptures do.

From:
Slugger O’Toole

From the Elgin Marbles to An Gal Gréine via William Wallace
Sat 29 January 2011, 9:42am

This week there have been renewed demands for the “repatriation” to Scotland of the 14th Century “William Wallace Passport”, presently held in the National Archives in Kew. As The Scotsman points out:

The case is set to inflame cross-border tensions in a manner befitting Wallace himself.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 15, 2011

Glasgow Museums to return Aboriginal artefacts to Australia

Posted at 2:46 pm in Similar cases

Scotland is due to hand back some more Aboriginal artefacts to Australia following negotiations with Glasgow City Council. This follows earlier previous returns made by museums in Edinburgh.

From:
The Herald (Scotland)

Aboriginal remains reclaimed
Phil Miller, Arts Correspondent
10 Dec 2010

Glasgow’s museums are to return the skeletal remains of three indigenous Australians to their home country.

The executive committee of Glasgow City Council yesterday agreed that the remains, including skulls, be returned to the Australian Government, in the latest of a series of repatriations in the last 10 years.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 7, 2010

Lord Elgin speaks about the reasons for returning artefacts to their country of origin

Posted at 1:56 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

In a very interesting followup to the amusing story of Lord Elgin’s rocks, on display in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the current Lord Elgin has given an interview about why he made the decision to return the rocks, along with various other items to Canada.

Most telling is the quote near the end of the video:

It was a pity I felt, that people in Canada were not able to see them & touch them & so on & only hear about them.
There came a moment that there was a place that they could go to, where they would become, as they were in our house a part of our family, they were going to go back to be part of the family that was Canada.

Surely the same now applies to Greece since the building of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens?

As I’ve said before, one wonders whether the Elgin Marbles would already be back in Greece if the Seventh Earl of Elgin hadn’t been forced to sell them when faced with bankruptcy?

October 23, 2010

Lewis Chessmen – or Icelandic Chessmen?

Posted at 4:59 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the research that suggests that the Lewis Chessmen may have originally been carved in Iceland. The relevance of this is of course the fact that the British Museum likes to refer to them as Norwegian Chessmen (to avoid claims for return to Scotland), yet it is clear that nobody knows for certain where they are from originally – in the case of theses objects, their home (inasmuch as it plays a part in their history) has to be seen as the place they were discovered, not the place (now long forgotten) where they originated. Either way, the British Museum should see itself only as a temporarily custodian, rather than the rightful owner.

From:
Scotsman

Mum’s gone to Iceland for Lewis Chessmen
Published Date: 11 September 2010
By JOHN ROSS

BEHIND the great men, there could be a talented woman. Or at least that’s the latest theory about the origins of the iconic Lewis Chessmen.

The Lewis Chessmen, carved about 800 years ago mostly from walrus tusks, had previously been considered of Norwegian origin Picture: PA
Read the rest of this entry »

Where do the Lewis Chessmen come from?

Posted at 4:38 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The British Museum has in the past been eager to argue that the Lewis Chessmen are from Norway & therefore neatly bypass any connection that they might have with Scotland (the place where they were discovered – no records exist of them prior to being found on a Hebridean beach in 1831. New research suggests that the British Museum’s statement may be incorrect though & that the chessmen possibly originated in Iceland..

From:
New York Times Blogs

September 7, 2010, 12:30 pm
A New Theory on the Origin of the Lewis Chessmen
By DYLAN LOEB MCCLAIN

The Lewis Chessmen are the most famous and important chess pieces in history. They have a long historical and scholarly record, part of which is that they were made in Norway roughly 800 years ago. But now two Icelandic men are challenging that belief and trying to prove that the pieces came from their country.

The pieces were discovered on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, in 1831 — hence their name. Carved mostly out of walrus tusk, they were found in a small carrying-case made of stone inside a sand dune. There are different theories about how they ended up there, including that they were left over from a shipwreck or that they were stolen and buried on the island and then forgotten.
Read the rest of this entry »

Page 1 of 3123