Showing results 1 - 12 of 62 for the tag: Universal Museum.

March 6, 2013

Turkey versus the Met – challenging the Universal Museum

Posted at 4:48 pm in Similar cases

While many disagree with the concept of the Universal Museum, without an international legal framework in place, few challenges relating to pre-1970 acquisitions by such museums have yet been successful. The odd exceptions to this involve items such as Nazi loot, which are covered by different national laws in many countries.

Now, Turkey is putting pressure on the Met – not on recently acquired artefacts, but on items which left Turkey long before the 1970 cut off date. It will be interesting to see how much success they have with this – threats to withdraw cooperation have been criticised by the museums as blackmail – but it still represents a clear obstacle to the museums that must be negotiated around.

From:
Guardian

Turkey’s restitution dispute with the Met challenges the ‘universal museum’
Turkey is flexing its cultural, as well as its economic and military muscles. But objects of art outlive the ambitions of nation states
Jason Farago
Sunday 7 October 2012 14.00 BST

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, like most institutions of its size in the US and Europe, has seen its fair share of lawsuits and controversies surrounding its collection. It returned nearly two dozen antiquities to Italy in 2006, as well as work acquired via Nazi looting.

But now the Met is facing a very different kind of restitution battle. The Turkish government is insisting it is the rightful owner of 18 objects from the collection of Norbert Schimmel, a Met trustee and one of the last century’s most astute collectors of Mediterranean antiquities.
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November 29, 2012

“Universal Objects” such as Cyrus Cylinder more easily lent to US museums than Iranian ones

Posted at 8:55 am in British Museum, Similar cases

While its great to enable as many people as possible to see iconic ancient artefacts, I have a couple of issues with this. First of all, it seems that a loan to not one, but five different museums can take place with relatively little fuss – yet when it was loaned to Iran (the original owners of the artefact), it was a long drawn out process over a number of years involving threats of legal action and to withdraw other cooperation before finally they were able to receive it.

At the end, Neil MacGregor talks about Universal Objects – clearly, this is the next step on from the Universal Museum, which he is is so fond of. Clearly now, we can have objects, that by association of name, if nothing else, can only be displayed in Universal Museums and are no longer valid for consideration for return to their original owners. As with the Universal Museum concept though, the real issue though, as I have mentioned before, is that the museums claiming to fill this role are entirely self appointed to it. No international committee chose them for this, no others were involved in assigning them to this undertaking.

From:
New York Times

November 27, 2012, 7:00 pm
A British Museum Treasure Will Visit the United States
By CAROL VOGEL

The Cyrus Cylinder — one of the most famous objects in the British Museum — will travel from its home in London to five museums in the United States next year.

Often referred to as “the first bill of human rights” because its inscription encourages freedom of worship throughout the Persian Empire, it is a small clay object — not quite nine inches long — bearing an account, in Babylonian cuneiform, by Cyrus, the King of Persia of his conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C. The cylinder was found in what was once Babylon, now Iraq, in 1879 during a British Museum excavation and has been on display at the museum ever since. It is one of the most famous objects to have survived from the ancient world.
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November 7, 2012

Videos online from London Colloquy on return of Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 2:07 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Following on from the Colloquy on the return of the Parthenon Marbles in June, they have now put online videos of all the speakers who were there.

You can view them on Youtube here.

July 17, 2012

The structural and philosophical problems confronting the Universal Museum concept

Posted at 7:43 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Dr Tom Flynn was one of the speakers at the London Colloquy on the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, where, rather than speaking about the reasons for returning the Parthenon Sculptures, he confronted one of the main arguments given by the British Museum for keeping them here – that of the Universal Museum.

From:
Tom Flynn

The Universal Museum
by Dr. Tom Flynn
London, 2012

Well, you should be ashamed of yourselves, assembling here in a sinister conspiracy to dismantle our Universal Museums, to rob us of the cultural treasures that have contributed so much to the legacy of the European Enlightenment. Just think for a moment of the implications of what you’re doing — if you have your way the great cultural institutions of Europe and North America — the British Museum, the Louvre in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago — these noble collections will be dispersed to the far corners of the earth, delivered into the hands of nations and cultures driven by rabid nationalism who lack the curatorial skills and the museological expertise to care for their material heritage. If you succeed, our classical temples to world culture will stand empty or will be turned into multiplex cinemas, football stadiums or basketball courts. The reputation of this once proud nation will be damaged beyond repair, tourism will cease, and as a people we will be forever impoverished.

It’s ridiculous isn’t it? I’m exaggerating to make a point, but that is essentially the message that is being circulated by those striving to resist the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. If the British Museum were to accede to the calls for return, the fabled floodgates would open, leading to a veritable deluge of repatriation requests. It would be a slippery slope that would lead inexorably to a mass exodus of objects, a wholesale denuding, a great emptying, a hollowing out. Or would it?
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June 13, 2012

Colloquy on the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles later this month

Posted at 6:10 pm in Elgin Marbles

More information on the colloquy on the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, to be held in London later this month.

From:
Source Wire

GLOBAL COLLOQUY ON REUNIFICATION OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES CONVENES 19-20 JUNE 2012 IN LONDON
Wednesday, 23 May 2012

(London, UK, Wednesday, May 22, 2012) – Today, three campaigning organizations for the Parthenon Marbles, from the UK, USA and Australia, announced the launch of an international colloquy on “The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles” to be held in London. The event is timed to coincide with the third year anniversary of the opening of the new Acropolis Museum and the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics one month later. There are plans to videotape and stream the proceedings online following the event for a global audience.

The colloquy is aimed to promote an open dialogue and create further effort for change, and will be held 19 June 2012, at the London Hellenic Centre, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. On 20 June, a planned organized attendance at the British Museum will take place followed by the launch of the “MISSING” global awareness campaign. This will include events scheduled around the world and online to mobilize support for the campaign. The colloquy is jointly presented by The British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM), The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures (ACRPS), and The International Organizing Committee – Australia – for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles (IOC-A-RPM).
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Re-examining the controversial status of the ‘Universal Museum’

Posted at 5:38 pm in Elgin Marbles

As part of the colloquy on the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, Tom Flynn is going to look at what the Universal Museum really claims to be – and the many problems with the reasoning behind it.

From:
PR Newswire

Universal Museum Concept & Debate at the Global London Colloquy June 19, 2012
LONDON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

The concept of the Universal Museum is at the heart of current debates about cultural property and nowhere more so than in the case of the Parthenon Marbles being held by the British Museum – arguably the definitive example of a ‘Universal Museum’. It is a subject that will be examined at the an international colloquy on “The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles” to be held in London 19 & 20 June, to register please visit http://www.parthenonuk.com

As the start of the London Olympics approaches, pressure is mounting on the British Museum to reunify the Parthenon Marbles in what is universally acknowledged as their rightful home – the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, which opened in 2009. Greece’s acute economic plight has merely amplified the need for a cultural gesture that many believe would have an immeasurable impact in kindling a sense of optimism and hope among the Greek people.
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May 14, 2012

Is the “Universal Museum” the museum concept of the future?

Posted at 12:52 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

A lot of effort has been expended in recent years in arguments for & against the idea of the Universal Museum. The fact remains though, that the whole concept only seems to have existed within the last ten years. Certainly, there are no mentions of the phrase in this context, prior to Neil MacGregor becoming director of the British Museum.

Surely, if it was a valid approach in the first place, more would have been heard of it prior to this point?

The fact is, that Universal Museums are self appointed. No other countries have asked them to look after their cultural treasures – and then to refuse to return the later. As such, they have no moral right to hang on to the huge numbers of items that were acquired in very dubious circumstances, carefully omitted from the labels on the artefacts today.

From:
The National

Will the museum of the future be universal or defined by its borders?
Kanishk Tharoor
May 12, 2012

When I was a 10-year-old tourist visiting London’s museums, I had a nationalist episode. It began, somewhat narcissistically, with the coins of Kanishka, the ancient king after whom I and all the world’s Kanishks are named. Something stirred in me. “Why are they kept here and not in India?” I asked my mother (never mind that the historical Kanishka hardly ever set foot in what is now India). I marvelled at the curving sword of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, austere and proud, reduced to forlorn captivity in the display case. “Why is it here?” I trembled. And then I found Tipu Sultan’s tiger, a fierce mechanical beast engineered to ravage a wooden British soldier. That was the final straw. The very symbol of Indian resistance to British conquest now lay caged in London as an eternal reminder of our defeat. Quaking with rage, I approached the nearest security guard. “Give it back!” I yelled. “Give it back!” He refused to oblige me.

But my childish protests augured the changing spirit of the times. A rash of similar demands – more sophisticated and reasoned than my own – prompted a group of agitated museum directors to issue a defensive proclamation in late 2002. Dubbed the “Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums”, it united venerable institutions in cities across Europe and North America, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Louvre in Paris to the Hermitage in St Petersburg. The directors responded to what they perceived as a fundamental threat to the existence of their museums: the righteous calls and legal attempts to “repatriate” artefacts.
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April 23, 2012

Orhan Pamuk’s manifesto looks forward to moving on from antiquated state museums

Posted at 1:06 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More coverage of Turkish Author, Orhan Pamuk’s museum manifesto, that explains why museums should move on from telling the story of the state that they are in & instead to tell the stories of individuals.

From:
Guardian

State museums are so antiquated
Orhan Pamuk
Friday 20 April 2012 22.54 BST

Monumental state treasure-houses such as the Louvre or the Met ignore the stories of the individual. Exhibitions should become ever more intimate and local

I love museums and I am not alone in finding that they make me happier with each passing day. I take museums very seriously, and that sometimes leads me to angry, forceful thoughts. But I do not have it in me to speak about museums with anger.
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Turkish author Orhan Pamuk attempts to re-think the museum

Posted at 12:53 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

To accompany his new book, Nobel laureate, Orhan Pamuk has released a manifesto for museums – a re-thinking of what the aim of museums should be. It is an interesting contrast to the idea of the Universal Museum put about so much by the British Museum in recent years, as being of paramount importance.

In the end, there can be many different types of museum – each has the right to decide what form they take, but at the same time, they should not see this as having the authority to dictate outside the borders of their funding country, that they have the right to remove artefacts for safekeeping, or to make them part of a grand collection that suits their own principles, despite this being at odds with the views of those who believe they are the rightful owners of the artefacts.

From:
Hurriyet Daily News

Orhan Pamuk issues museum manifesto
April/21/2012

Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has issued a “manifesto” to explain and accompany his Museum of Innocence, a visual manifestation of aspects of his novel of the same name, which will open in Istanbul at the end of this month. The manifesto was published in daily Taraf before being released to the international media.

Pamuk says he loves museums and has felt very happy in museums in the past. “Because I take museums seriously, I sometimes get angry about them, but I don’t want to speak about museums with anger. There were too few museums in Istanbul in my childhood; most of them were historical structures under protection. Later on, small museums in European cities made me feel that museums could tell the stories of individuals. I never forget that places like the Louvre, the Metropolitan [Museum], Topkapı [Palace], the British Museum and the Prado [hold] great richness for humanity. But I am against the idea that these big monumental treasures should be the models for future museums. Museums should represent humanity… but state-supported museums aim to represent the state, not individuals. This is not a good or an innocent goal,” Pamuk’s manifesto reads.
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March 29, 2012

Can travelling exhibitions be seen as a real alternative to restitution of artefacts?

Posted at 8:04 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Kwame Opoku has forwarded me a response to Neil MacGregor’s assertions that the artefacts should not be returned & instead substituted with travelling exhibitions to help share the artefacts.

From Kwame Opoku via email.

Travelling Exhibition as Alternative to Restitution? Comments on Suggestion by Director of the British Museum.

The Director of the British Museum has indeed a fertile mind that never tires of inventing new defences for the retention of looted artefacts of others in the major museums.

Once it became clear that the infamous Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums. (2002) and its principles were not as effective as the signatories thought, other approaches had to be considered.

One such approach is the “travelling exhibition”. This seems interesting and reasonable until one begins to consider what is being proposed. MacGregor is reported in Elginism to have told an audience at the University of Western Australia that due to globalisation, the concept of “travelling exhibitions” will become more relevant;
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March 20, 2012

Global heritage – which museums have the right to own it?

Posted at 8:50 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Many of the large museums of the west, have in recent years, laid claim to being global museums – museums of such significance that they should own artefacts from around the world (Also known as Universal or Encyclopaedic Museums). In the eyes of the museums, this serves to weaken any claims made by other countries for ownership of items in their collections. There are arguments both for & against this proposition, but I find it hard to see how institutions can become a quasi global entity, that makes decisions about what is best for an artefact, when the role is entirely self-appointed & they own the artefact in question, so are unable to make unbiased judgements on it.

From:
policymic

Which Museums Have the Right to Own World Heritage?
Janine DeFeo in Global, Europe

Issues of the ownership of history periodically assert themselves in current affairs — the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s quiet admission of wrongful possession of some ancient Egyptian artifacts was news not least because the repatriation of objects is often the less common end to these kinds of disputes. Of course, the most famous of these is probably the controversy around the so-called “Elgin marbles” in the British Museum (the sculptures Lord Elgin acquired from the ruins of the Athenian Parthenon while serving as British ambassador to the Ottoman court in the early 19th century).

Since the 1980s, Greece has been trying to get these sculptures back, an effort that received renewed attention in 2009 with the opening of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, built to prove that Greece could provide an appropriate setting for the objects. There is very little hope of success; the British Museum is, predictably, in no hurry to return the objects (the museum estimates that they are seen by about five million people per year). The British Museum firmly believes in its rights to the objects, and it seems unlikely that they will ever be returned; a blanket call for the return of all antiquities to their place of origin is unrealistic.
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January 31, 2011

Eddie O’Hara takes up the fight for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

Posted at 1:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited

Following taking over as the Chairman of the BCRPM, Eddie O’Hara talks to the BBC about why he believes that the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens. Eddie O’Hara is also the Honorary President of the Marbles Reunited campaign.

From:
BBC News

5 January 2011 Last updated at 13:59
Parthenon Marbles: Taking up the fight
By Trevor Timpson BBC News

Greek calls for the UK to return the Parthenon Marbles, nearly 200 years after they were removed from the Acropolis and shipped to London, have a new advocate leading the battle in the UK.

Former MP Eddie O’Hara, the new chairman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM), has told the BBC News website he is optimistic the campaign for the British Museum to return the sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles, will succeed.
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