Showing results 13 - 24 of 68 for the tag: USA.

March 6, 2013

Dallas museum returns looted mosaic to Turkey

Posted at 6:48 pm in Similar cases

Yet again, Turkey is in the news with a resolved restitution case. This time, it involves the Dallas Museum of Art. Interestingly though, the museum was the one that contacted Turkey after discovery that the artefact might have been looted – although whether this was as a pre-emptive move, knowing that they would be contacted by Turkey about it is unclear.

From:
Culture Kiosque

DALLAS MUSEUM RETURNS LOOTED MOSAIC TO TURKEY
By Culturekiosque Staff

DALLAS, TEXAS, 3 DECEMBER 2012 — The Dallas Museum of Art today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish Director General for Cultural Heritage and Museums O. Murat Süslü, marking the first initiative in the Dallas Museum of Art’s new DMX international exchange program. DMX (Dallas Museum Exchange) is designed to establish international collaborations for the loan of works of art and sharing of expertise in conservation, exhibitions, education, and new media.

The DMA contacted Turkish officials earlier this year when the Museum discovered evidence that a work in the collection — the Orpheus Mosaic — might have been stolen from an archaeological site in Turkey. With the Museum’s planning for the DMX program already underway, the DMA’s engagement with Turkey regarding the mosaic opened the lines of communication that led to Turkey becoming the Museum’s first partner in the DMX program. As part of today’s ceremony for the signing of the MOU, the DMA returned the Orpheus Mosaic to the Turkish officials. The Republic of Turkey considers the voluntary return of the mosaic a sign of good faith, and both parties will undertake to continue their collaboration with museological education, conservation, symposia, and important loan exhibitions.
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University of Pennsylvania museum returns disputed artefacts to Turkey on indefinite loan

Posted at 8:50 am in Similar cases

As part of their ongoing drive to secure the return of disputed artefacts, Turkey appears to have reached an agreement with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, for the return of various artefacts on an indefinite loan. It is interesting, as it shows that for some museums, the idea of an indefinite loan as a solution to issues is a relatively straightforward option – yet, when the possibility has been raised with the British Museum as a means to return the Parthenon Sculptures, Greece has always been told that it is unworkable, and that any loan must have a definite (usually 3-4 month) period attached to it. This is of course, despite the fact that the British Museum itself has also entered into some fairly nebulous loan agreements in the past – and has been on the receiving end of many more (which it presumably does not complain about.

From:
Philly.com

Penn museum lends possibly plundered items to Turkey
September 07, 2012|By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer

Following a scientific analysis that suggested its collection of ancient, Trojan-style gold jewelry was looted from northwestern Turkey, the University of Pennsylvania announced this week that it had lent the 24 items to that country for an indefinite period.

In exchange, the Turkish government pledged to lend other artifacts for a one-year exhibit at Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, including priceless items from Gordion, seat of power of King Midas. The country also promised support for ongoing excavations by Penn scholars within its borders.
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March 5, 2013

Two US museums wrestle with complex questions of provenance

Posted at 9:16 am in Similar cases

An interesting story about how the archaeological museum of the University of Pennsylvania led to modern treaties on acquisition of unprovenanced artefacts – and how the artefacts that started the story are now returning to their presumed original home.

From:
Newsweek

Who Owns Antiquity?
Sep 10, 2012 1:00 AM EDT
Two U.S. museums wrestle with the provenance question.

In 1966, curators at the archaeological museum of the University of Pennsylvania bought a pile of gorgeous Bronze Age jewelry from a Philadelphia dealer. They couldn’t know their purchase would change how museums work.

The 24 gold objects had come to Penn with no trace of where they’d been unearthed, or how. That left scholars there without much clue about why and when the gold had been worked, or by whom— and with the suspicion that it had been dug up by looters. Frustrated, they decided to take steps to prevent this kind of “homelessness” for other antiquities. In 1970, they issued a declaration (a Philadelphia tradition, after all) insisting that the Penn museum would no longer acquire ancient objects whose history could not be properly tracked. Later that year, a UNESCO convention on cultural property suggested the same rule for all other museums, and since then, reputable institutions have pretty much toed that line.
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March 4, 2013

Plaster replicas of Parthenon frieze used as teaching tools at Herron School of Art & Design

Posted at 9:41 am in Elgin Marbles

In the past many casts were made of the Parthenon Marbles – but a lot of them are now in a poor state, requiring restoration, after being abandoned for years. Its great, that in this case, the casts have not been abandoned, but are being used as a teaching tool.

From:
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Plaster replicas of Parthenon frieze find second life at Herron

INDIANAPOLIS — Plaster replicas of the running frieze created to adorn the most iconic symbol of classical antiquity are once again teaching tools and objets d’art for certain students and professors at Herron School of Art and Design, part of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

But this time around, second-generation casts of the frieze from Greece’s Parthenon are both a testimonial to the prominent role that Herron played in the training of past generations of professional artists, and a springboard to its multidisciplinary collaborations for future generations.
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February 28, 2013

The Court of the District of Columbia & the Chabad jews – a possible solution to the Parthenon Marbles case?

Posted at 2:29 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Paul Barford raises an interesting question on his blog, regarding a recent case in the USA. Essentially, the gist of the post relates back to an earlier story, about the fallout from a court case in the courts of the District of Columbia.

The case was brought by Chabad Jews, who have been campaigning for the return of two collections of books & manuscripts from Russia since the 1980s. They filed a lawsuit in 2004. In July 2010, the court ordered the Russia to return the library & archives to Chabad. At this point, Russia ignored the judgement. A month ago, on 16th January 2013, the same court sanctioned the Russian Government $50,00 per day for not complying with their ruling.

Since then, Russia’s foreign ministry has taken the retaliatory move, of recommending that two government agencies sue the US Library of Congress. If this case was to proceed, it would take place in a Russian court. It is taken against the Library of Congress, because through the inter-library loans programme (of which the LOC was the conduit), in 1994, seven books were lent to the Shabad group & never returned.

Russia has also taken the move of placing an embargo on any loans to museums in the USA, due to fears that artefacts will be seized.

Now, I’m not at all sure at this stage what the outcome of all this will be – but, the fact remains, that sanctions taken in a court outside the home country still have a potential to provoke a reaction.

Previously, I have been party to suggestions that a similar move could be taken by the Greek Government against the British Museum & the District of Columbia was mentioned as one possible jurisdiction under which this might take place. Now, I’m hoping that if it did take place, it would follower a calmer course than the current case, but it is indisputable, that the threat of legal action based on this precedent would be a strong incentive to negotiate.

Part of the problem with the Parthenon Marbles case, is that there has never been enough pressure placed against the British Museum / British Government. Essentially, they don’t feel that they currently have to respond to anything. If requests for negotiations are ever issued by Greece, these are closed out fairly quickly by laying down pre-conditions that Greece will never agree to – essentially asking them to give up something before the discussions can even start. Something needs to be done to show the British Museum that Greece means business – that the issue will not just go away.

Italy did not succeed in their requests against the US, until initiating legal action – although in many cases, the (serious) threat of legal action was eough to start off proper negotiations leading to the settlement i.e. it never actually went to court.

Clearly, in the case of the Chabad Jews (of which much more could be written), negotiating was off the agenda, as the case is being pursued to the bitter end, & looks like it could develop into a full blown diplomatic incident if one side doesn’t back down. Essentially (from the perspective of an outsider) they have taken a weapon & used it unwisely – and could end up blowing off their own feet in the process.

Notwithstanding the above point though, the fact remains – the legal route offers a path to negotiation & resolution of the case that has not yet been properly explored. Greece has tried the gentle discussions route for years & made little progress – so perhaps it is now time to take a different tack?

From:
The Art Newspaper

Russian agencies move to sue US Library of Congress
Threatened lawsuits could result in sanctions against the US, in retaliation for $50,000 per day penalties against Russia
By Laura Gilbert. Web only
Published online: 12 February 2013

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has recommended that two Russian government agencies sue the US Library of Congress, the news agency Pravda reported Friday. The move, seemingly in retaliation for US court-ordered sanctions against Russia costing $50,000 per day, is the latest twist in the ongoing dispute between the Brooklyn-based Jewish group Chabad and Russia.

Chabad has been trying to obtain two collections of Jewish books and manuscripts from Russia since the 1980s and filed a lawsuit in 2004. On 16 January, a Washington, DC District Court sanctioned the Russian government $50,000 per day because Russia had not followed the court’s July 2010 order to turn over the library and archive to Chabad. Shortly after the order, Russia initiated an embargo, which is still in effect, on lending art to American museums, claiming it feared Chabad would seize its art in order to enforce the judgment. American museums responded by refusing to loan art works to Russian institutions. Chabad, for its part, says it will not claim Russian art that is immune from seizure under US law but would enforce the judgment by seizing other Russian property in the US and through monetary sanctions.
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November 16, 2012

Final Machu Picchu artefacts returned to Peru by Yale University

Posted at 8:46 am in Similar cases

Two years after the agreement to return artefacts was made, and many years after Peru first started petitioning for their return, the final artefacts from Yale University’s Peabody Museum have returned to Machu Picchu. These final artefacts form the last part of an extensive restitution process of over 35,000 items that has been happening over the last year an a half.

From:
BBC News

13 November 2012 Last updated at 03:05
United States returns to Peru last Machu Picchu artefacts

The last of the artefacts taken from Machu Picchu by American archaeologist who rediscovered the Inca citadel have been returned to Peru.

More than 35,000 pottery fragments and other pieces were flown from Yale University to the Andean city of Cusco.
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November 14, 2012

Why don’t we just sue the British Museum? A litigator’s perspective on the Elgin Marbles debate

Posted at 9:17 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Michael J Reppas, the chair of the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures has written a new book about how the issue of the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures might be approached from a legal perspective.

You can order it online from Barnes & Noble here. For some reason it doesn’t seem to be in Amazon’s catalog.

From:
Hellenic Communications Service

Book Release for Why Don’t We Just Sue the British Museum? A Litigator’s Perspective on the Elgin-Parthenon Marbles Debate by Michael J. Reppas, II, Esq.

Title: Why Don’t We Just Sue the British Museum? A Litigator’s Perspective on the Elgin-Parthenon Marbles Debate
Author: Michael J. Reppas, II, Esq.
Publisher: E-volve Publishing, LLC, 8004 NW 154h St. #214, Miami, FL 33016
Date of Publication: 2012
Language: English
ISBN: 978–0-9859755-0-0
Price: $29.99 (plus $3.50 S&H)
Description: 306pp softcover, incl. illus.
Availability: Website of The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc. (downloadable order form) at the URL http://www.parthenonmarblesusa.org/index.php/support-acrps/michael-j-reppas-new-book . All proceeds donated by author to The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc.

About the Book

Reppas skillfully crafts a trial for the return of the Marbles, with an impassioned Opening Statement, engaging trial transcript dialogue, introduction of exhibits and evidence, and Closing Statement.
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November 12, 2012

Revisiting S2212 – The flaws inherent in the Foreign Cultural Exchange Judicial Immunity Clarification Act

Posted at 7:03 pm in Similar cases

Nikki Georgopulos has written a very extensive piece for the Plundered Art blog about the man issues with Senate Bill S2212 (the Foreign Cultural Exchange Judicial Immunity Clarification Act). While the act gives the impression of helping the current situation, in reality it causes as many problems as it solves.

Her article is in two parts.

Part 1.

Part 2.

November 6, 2012

Exhibition in Boston of watercolour paintings of Elgin Marbles

Posted at 2:26 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

An exhibition at Gurari Collections, Boston, MA, is displaying various watercolour paintings of the Parthenon Sculptures by artist Wendy Artin.

From:
People of Shambhala

Elgin Marbles given new life in watercolor exhibition
Posted by People of Shambhala on October 28, 2012

One of the most important artifacts of the ancient world — the Elgin Marbles — has come to the USA in the form of a new watercolor exhibition in Boston.

The Elgin Marbles were acquired Lord Elgin when he served as ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbulin between 1801 and 1805. The sculptures were later bought by the British Parliament and given to the British Museum where they currently reside. However, Greece has repeatedly called for the artifacts to be returned to their country of origin.
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July 25, 2012

Nigeria demands return of disputed artefacts acquired by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

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

Boston’s Musuem of Fine Arts has recently acquired an assortment of artefacts that were looted during the Benin massacre in 1897. Now, Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments is demanding their return.

From:
Huffington Post

Boston’s Museum Of Fine Arts Urged To Return Looted Artifacts To Nigeria
Posted: 07/20/2012 1:56 pm Updated: 07/20/2012 1:56 pm

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments, the governmental body in Nigeria that regulates the nation’s museum systems, is demanding the return of 32 artifacts recently acquired by the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Consisting of various bronze and ivory sculptures looted during the Benin Massacre of 1897, the Director-General of the commission, Yusuf Abdallah Usman, states that the pieces were illegally taken by the British Expedition as spoils of war.

The MFA in Boston acquired the pieces last month as a gift from New York banker and collector Robert Owen Lehman, who purchased the Benin pieces in the 1950s and 1970s. But the pieces were originally looted by British soldiers in the late 1890s, following the Benin massacre of 1897. In a statement made by Usman, the commission stated: “Without mincing words, these artworks are heirlooms of the great people of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria generally. They form part of the history of the people. The gap created by this senseless exploitation is causing our people, untold anguish, discomfort and disillusionment.”
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July 17, 2012

Nigerian & US museums in conflict over looted artefacts

Posted at 1:03 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

During the British led Benin massacre of 1897, thousands of artefacts were looted by the soldiers carrying out the raids. The most well know of these are the Benin Bronzes in the British Museum, but there are many others too.

From:
All Africa

Nigerian, American Museums Lock Horns Over ‘Stolen’ Artefacts
By Chika Okeke, 15 July 2012

Thousands of Benin artefacts were illegally looted by the colonial masters and European troops during their invasion of the Benin Kingdom. CHIKA OKEKE writes that about 32 priceless objects currently in Museum of Fine Art Boston U.S.A. risk repatriation on account of their failure to meet all legal standards.

The kingdom of Benin artefacts illegally kept in various museums across Britain and the United States of America have been a source of tourist attraction to both visitors and the Citizens. The artefacts are elaborate and hardly can strangers reproduce the original ones that are popular in Benin Kingdom.
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement return 14 looted paintings to Peru

Posted at 8:05 am in Similar cases

When one hears about looted Peruvian artefacts, the tendency is to assume that we are always talking about Inca treasures, such as the ones recently returned by Yale University. The country has cultural heritage the dates from ancient times to the later years of the Spanish colonial period however – none of which is immune to being smuggled out of the country destined for private collections.

From:
Immigration & Customs Enforcement

News Releases
July 12, 2012
Washington, DC
ICE returns stolen and looted art and antiquities to Peru

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 14 stolen and looted cultural paintings and artifacts to the government of Peru at a repatriation ceremony at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C. The items were recovered in five separate investigations by special agents of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York; West Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; and Austin and Houston, Texas.

Returned to the Peruvian people were nine religious paintings, a monstrance and four archaeological items that date back more than 2,000 years. The return of this cultural property is the culmination of a long, hard fight by HSI, INTERPOL and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices from the District of Delaware, the Southern District of New York, and the Southern District of Texas. Participating in today’s repatriation were ICE Director John Morton, Peruvian Ambassador to the United States Harold Forsyth and U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Also in attendance were INTERPOL Washington Director Timothy A. Williams and representatives from the Southern District of New York and District of Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Offices; U.S. Department of State Cultural Heritage Center; Smithsonian Institution; and HSI special agents from the respective investigative offices.
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