Showing results 13 - 24 of 35 for the tag: Scotland.

October 20, 2010

Looking at the Lewis Chessmen

Posted at 8:35 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Some of the Lewis Chessmen from the British Museum are temporarily on display in Scotland. Their contentiousness however can distract from what the pieces actually are & represent in their own right. Like the Parthenon Sculptures, they are in part famous purely for their recent history.

The Atlantic

The Lewis Chessmen, Up Close
Aug 19 2010, 10:55 AM ET

Today, for the first time, I got to see some of the magnificent Lewis chess pieces first-hand, in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland. I wrote about them in my book The Immortal Game (excerpt below) but until today had not yet seen them in person. Most of them usually reside at the British Museum in London.

They are 78 figurines, comprising four not-quite-complete chess sets, hand-carved from walrus tusk and whale teeth near Trondheim, Norway around 1150, but discovered seven hundred miles away in 1831 in the Bay of Uig on the Scottish Isle of Lewis.
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September 21, 2010

Ten things you didn’t know about the Lewis Chessmen

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

An interesting article about the Lewis Chessmen – although by my count there are nine facts in their list, not ten. Some of the points (such as the fact that there is no basis for their repatriation) are somewhat contentious however.


Ten things you didn’t know about the Lewis Chessmen
By Malcolm Jack
Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked exhibition in Edinburgh brings together the British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland’s collections of the Lewis Chessmen – a set of medieval gaming pieces, originating most likely from Trondheim in the 12th or 13th century, which were discovered on the Hebridean island of Lewis sometime between 1780 and 1831.

Individually hand-carved from walrus ivory, and numbering 93 pieces in total – 82 of which are held by the British Museum, the remaining 11 by the National Museum of Scotland – the Lewis Chessmen are world famous for their mysterious origins, unique design and curious, almost comical expressions, which range from moody kings to a frightened-looking warder biting down on his shield. They even made a cameo in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
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September 16, 2010

Western Isles MP thinks Lewis Chessmen may be returned

Posted at 8:07 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil, states that the talks he has been having with the British Museum regarding the Lewis Chessmen have been very positive – the implication of this (based on MacNeil’s previous comments about the chessmen) suggests that he now believes there is a reasonable chance that they may be returned to the Western Isles.

BBC News

Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:16 UK
Lewis chessmen could be returned

Talks to return at least some of the Lewis chessmen to the Western Isles have been described as “very positive”.

The area’s MP Angus MacNeil made the comment following a meeting with the deputy director of the British Museum, where 82 of the chessmen are housed.
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August 20, 2010

SNP steps up battle for Lewis Chessmen

Posted at 7:19 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil, hopes to hold talks with the British Museum about the possibility of reunifying all the Lewis Chessmen in Scotland.

Press and Journal

SNP steps up chessmen battle
Talks over moves to return historic pieces to Lewis
By Cameron Brooks
Published: 05/06/2010

THE SNP has stepped up its campaign to repatriate the historic Lewis Chessmen to Scotland.

Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil is due to hold fresh talks in the coming weeks with the British Museum, where 82 of the 93 pieces are held permanently, and the UK Government.
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August 17, 2010

The sophistication of medieval culture as demonstrated in the Lewis Chessmen

Posted at 2:19 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the exhibition of the exhibition of the partially reunited Lewis Chessmen in Edinburgh


Art review: Lewis Chessmen – Unmasked
Published Date: 26 May 2010
By Duncan Macmillan

IN BRAVEHEART, our national hero is impersonated by an Australian. He paints his face like a football fan and seems to have had Billy Connolly as a voice coach. But if that is a travesty of Wallace, the portrayal of his followers as uncouth, unkempt and unwashed is worse. Sadly, however, when they appear in film, our ancestors are generally represented as wild men from the woods, a bunch of hairy bikers strayed from Mad Max, the film in which it was no doubt Mel Gibson’s performance that led someone to imagine he was qualified to play Wallace. That’s not flattering.

The exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland devoted to the Lewis Chessmen should dispose of the hairy biker myth, however. Much of our medieval heritage has been destroyed, but what survives makes it clear that the Scots, Lowland and Highland, were as sophisticated as anybody else in northern Europe. As elsewhere, wealth was largely in the hands of the crown, the church and the aristocracy, but all saw art as a means to prestige, patronage, comfort, or pleasure. The chessmen belonged to this world, but their exact origin is a mystery. It seems most likely they were found in or near the parish of Uig in Lewis around 200 years ago. They first appear on the record in an article in The Scotsman in 1831.
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August 15, 2010

Scots want the Lewis Chessmen reunited in Scotland

Posted at 2:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A response to the coverage of the loan of some of the Lewis Chessmen to Scotland.

As with most restitution cases, there are few in the home country against reunifying the artefacts, yet within the country that currently holds them, there are far greater levels of support for retention. One has to ask, whether Britain’s general lack of support for restitution would be different if we had large amounts of our artefacts trapped in museums abroad?


Letter: Chess carve-up
Published Date: 22 May 2010

While it is fantastic to see 34 of the collection of 93 Lewis Chessmen go on tour in Scotland, starting with an exhibition at the National Museum (your report, 21 May), it is now time for the return of all the 12th-century chessmen to Scotland and preferably to the Western Isles.
Of the 93 chessmen, only 11 are in Edinburgh while 82 are in the British Museum in London, with 23 of these to be briefly “loaned” north of the Border. Division of the set is unacceptable and it is simply not good enough that they are occasionally lent back.

Bryson Road

August 13, 2010

The Lewis Chessmen are reunited temporarily

Posted at 1:04 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the (temporary) exhibition reuniting some of the Lewis Chessmen from the British Museum with those in Edinburgh.


Lewis chessmen reunited with mates
Published Date: 21 May 2010
By Tim Cornwell

AFTER years of political point-scoring over their rightful home, more than 30 of the historic Lewis chessmen go on show in Edinburgh today in an exhibition expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors.

“The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked” runs for four months at the National Museum of Scotland. It incorporates 23 Lewis chess pieces and other artefacts from the British Museum – the first loan of any chessmen to Edinburgh in 14 years – alongside all 11 pieces in Scotland’s own collection.
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August 2, 2010

Where should the Lewis Chessmen be kept?

Posted at 7:51 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A new exhibition in Scotland brings together some of the surviving Lewis Chessmen from the collections of both the British Museum & National Museums Scotland. Almost everyone who sees the collection would argue that it is better to understand them in one place together – but the apart from occasional short term loans, the status-quo of a fragmented collection continues to be maintained.

About My Area

The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked
National Museum of Scotland
21 May – 19 September 2010

The Lewis Chessmen are going on tour!

The Chessmen represent one of the most significant archeological discoveries ever made in Scotland. This new exhibition casts fresh light on their significance and explores their possible origins.
Discover where the chess pieces were found and weigh up the myths and theories surrounding them. What do the intricately-carved characters tell us about society at the time they were made?
The exhibition brings together chess pieces from the British Museum and National Museums Scotland. New research explores the enduring mystery and intrigue of these iconic artefacts.
The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked continues to Aberdeen Art Gallery, Shetland Museum and Archives and Museum nan Eilean, Stornoway. Visit for more information.
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March 31, 2010

Lewis Chessmen can only be displayed in the British Museum

Posted at 1:07 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The British Museum has responded unfavourably to MP Angus MacNeil’s proposal that the British Museum could open an outpost in the Western Isles to house the Lewis Chessmen.


Thursday, 11th March 2010
Lewis chessmen must stay in British Museum, minister says
Published Date: 11 March 2010
By David Maddox

A PROPOSAL to create a wing of the British Museum on the Isle of Lewis to house the famous chess pieces found there was yesterday rejected by the UK government.

Western Isles Nationalist MP Angus MacNeil put forward the idea as a compromise solution to allow the 78 12th century Lewis chessmen to go home.
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MP calls for the return of Lewis Chessmen

Posted at 1:01 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

MP Angus MacNeil has suggested that the Lewis Chessmen could be housed in an outpost of the British Museum located in the Western Isles. This suggestion is not dis-similar to what was proposed for the Parthenon Sculptures by the Greek government in 2003, where it was suggested that the British Museum could have a joint curatorship agreement with the New Acropolis Museum.

BBC News

Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010
MP calls for return of chessmen

The historic Lewis chessmen could be housed in an extension of the British Museum built on the Western Isles, the islands SNP MP has suggested.

Angus MacNeil told a debate in Westminster that most, if not all, the 93 pieces should be returned to Lewis where they were found buried in 1831.
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March 8, 2010

MPs criticise the removal of Scotland from the story of the Lewis Chessmen

Posted at 10:56 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

In a followup to the story a few days ago about the Lewis Chessmen, the British Museum responds to the criticism, although seems to be missing the fact that the real issue isn’t over technicalities off where the pieces were created, but of the realities of where they were discovered & how the people there see them as a part of their identity.

Press and Journal

MPs hit out at snub to Scots origin of chessmen
British museum project on Lewis artefacts ignores place of discovery
By David Perry
Published: 26/02/2010

A motion which “deplores” the way the Hebridean origin of the fabled Lewis Chessmen has been airbrushed out of a major British Museum project has been put down in the Commons.

Western Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil has secured the support of two SNP MPs and seven others for his motion, which complains that a poster campaign shows a picture of one of the chess pieces – found buried in sand dunes at Uig, Lewis – with the date AD 1150-1200 and the word “Norway” below it.
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February 24, 2010

Lewis Chessmen… or Norwegian Chessmen?

Posted at 10:01 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Scottish MP Angus MacNeil is annoyed about the British Museum’s depiction of the Lewis Chessmen as Norwegian with no mention of the fact that they were found in Scotland before ending up in the British Museum.

The Times

February 24, 2010
MPs angered by ‘Norwegian’ Chessmen

The British Museum has been accused of “airbrushing” history after a poster campaign claimed the world famous Lewis Chessmen were from Norway, and failed to mention any connection to Scotland at all.

Angus MacNeil, the Nationalist MP for the Western Isles, wants the posters removed or the reference to Norway replaced by Lewis. Mr MacNeil, who has raised the issue at Westminster, described the promotional campaign as a “total cheek”.
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