Showing results 1 - 12 of 34 for the tag: Scotsman.

May 18, 2015

Greek minister argues against Parthenon Marbles legal action

Posted at 7:33 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Further coverage of the statement by Greek Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis not to take legal action over the return of the Parthenon Sculptures at the current time.

As I mentioned in the other batch of articles on the issue, there seems to be little new information in any of these stories over and above what was originally stated. The stories have instead become retellings of the narrative of the acquisition of the Marbles, adjusted according to the newspaper’s own leanings on the issue.

I have now been quoted in at least three of the articles, which is impressive, as I have only spoken to the writer of one of them.

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

David Hill, Amal Clooney & Geoffrey Robertson in Athens

From:
Artnet

Greece Says No to Amal Clooney’s Elgin Marbles Advice to Sue British Museum
Amah-Rose Abrams
Thursday, May 14, 2015

Amal Clooney is still working hard to win back the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum and return them to Greece, filing a 150-page document recommending the Greek government takes the British Museum to the International Court.

However, according to the Times, Greece has promptly snubbed Clooney’s efforts and decided not to follow her advice, despite Clooney and her colleague Geoffrey Robertson telling Greece that it was a case of “now or never” in the lengthy battle involving the ancient Greek artworks.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 13, 2014

Parthenon sculpture Hermitage loan – readers respond

Posted at 2:46 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

As one would expect, the controversial move by the British Museum to lend one of the Parthenon Marbles to Russia has illicited a number of responses from newspaper readers.

Visitors passing a sculpture from the Parthenon marbles at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

Visitors passing a sculpture from the Parthenon marbles at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

From:
Guardian

Squalid saga of Parthenon marbles loan to Russia
Sunday 7 December 2014

In loaning the Parthenon marbles statue of Ilissos to Russia (Loan shatters Elgin marbles claim, says Athens, 6 December), the British Museum has acted insensitively and foolishly. It is unseemly and squalid, after unanswered Greek requests for the marbles’ return, for the statue’s first move outside Britain to be to a country we ourselves have placed under sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine. At a stroke the museum has legitimised Putin’s Russia at a time when the latter’s unpredictable aggression threatens Ukraine’s existence and Europe’s wider security.

Does the museum think itself exempt from the dynamics of contemporary European politics, and that cultural diplomacy will smooth over the current crisis? Consider this: right now the Netherlands is refusing to return Scythian gold, loaned before the illegal annexation of Crimea, to four museums now under Russian control there. What is to stop Russia holding Ilissos hostage in return? In April the Russian Itar-Tass agency reported that the refusal to return the gold would result in non-cooperation between Russian and EU museums. The British Museum may well have placed one of its most priceless artefacts in serious danger. Putin has shown himself indifferent about far more.
Tony King
Barnt Green, Worcestershire
Read the rest of this entry »

December 8, 2014

Greece responds angrily to Russian Parthenon sculpture loan

Posted at 1:05 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Unsurprisingly, the Greek government is not too impressed with the way that the British Museum recently loaned one of the Parthenon Sculptures to the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Various past Greek approaches for loans & to discuss the issue have been snubbed, yet it appears that the British Museum is perfectly happy to lend the sculptures to other institutions.

Visitors look at a sculpture from the Parthenon marbles at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

Visitors look at a sculpture from the Parthenon marbles at the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

From:
Guardian

Parthenon marbles: Greece furious over British loan to Russia
Greek prime minister says loan of statue from pillaged frieze puts end to British Museum argument that disputed antiquities are immovable
Helena Smith in Athens
Friday 5 December 2014 15.38 GMT

Greece has reacted with outrage to the British Museum’s surprise move to loan one of the disputed Parthenon marbles to Russia.

Within hours of learning of the unexpected decision to send the monumental statue of the river god Ilissos to the State Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaris, hit back.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 23, 2012

850 looted treasures repatriated to Afghanistan from UK

Posted at 9:11 am in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of the ongoing attempts by the UK to return various Afghan artefacts, that have been seized by UK border officials. I’m unclear why the number of artefacts has altered significantly since the previous article I posted about it a few days ago.

From:
Independent

Looted treasures returned to Afghanistan by British Museum
Dalya Alberge
Thursday 19 July 2012

The British Museum, aided by British police and the UK Border Force, has helped return to Afghanistan hundreds of looted antiquities seized from smugglers, The Independent can reveal.

David Cameron will announce in Afghanistan today that 850 treasures have been repatriated, having been passed to the British Museum for safeguarding following their confiscation in Britain over the last two years.
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 »

January 7, 2011

Is the British Museum a Universal Museum, or is this just a new argument against an old issue?

Posted at 1:59 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Neil MacGregor talks of grand encyclopaedic museums, as though this option somehow over-rules all other possibilities. The reality of course is that this is purely a self appointed role for the British Museum. There are no mentions of the terms Encyclopaedic Museum or Universal Museum (its now tarnished pre-cursor) before 2000 that relate to the concept as the British Museum now describes it. Surely if it was such an important aspect of the museum world, articles in the press would have mentioned it before then?

Looking back at the arguments, the Universal Museum ties in partly to Neil MacGregor’s arrival as director of the institution, but also with the beginning of construction work on the New Acropolis Museum. Could it be that they realised that one of their arguments was soon going to be obsolete, so they had to rapidly invent a new one to replace it with?

From:
Scotsman

Book review: A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
Published Date: 27 November 2010
By Susan Mansfield

A History of the World in 100 Objects
BY Neil MacGregor
Allen Lane, 732 pp, £30

IF POINTS were awarded for sheer, unbridled ambition, Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, would surely come top of the class. It takes a certain bravado to dream up a 100-part radio series, telling the story of near two million years of world history, each episode pegged to an object which the listeners can’t even see.

Now the book of the series is published, a 700-page doorstop and a major achievement, particularly for a man who put it together while simultaneously running one of the world’s biggest museums. It is, on one level, a shameless plug for that museum, from whose collection all 100 objects come, though if MacGregor is blowing his own institution’s trumpet, he has some justification in doing so.
Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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.

From:
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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

From:
Scotsman

Art review: Lewis Chessmen – Unmasked
Published Date: 26 May 2010
By Duncan Macmillan
LEWIS CHESSMEN: UNMASKED ****
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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?

From:
Scotsman

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.

ALEX ORR
Bryson Road
Edinburgh

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.

From:
Scotsman

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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.

From:
About My Area

The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked
National Museum of Scotland
Free
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 www.nms.ac.uk/chessmen for more information.
Read the rest of this entry »

Page 1 of 3123