Showing results 37 - 48 of 68 for the tag: USA.

March 28, 2012

The great artefact restitution from Yale’s Peabody Museum to Peru

Posted at 8:03 am in Similar cases

After many years of campaigning, false starts & re-iterated demands, agreements were finally reached between Yale University & the Peruvian government for the return of various disputed artefacts collected by Hiram Bingham. These have been gradually been arriving back in Cusco.

From:
NPR

Finders Not Keepers: Yale Returns Artifacts To Peru
by Diane Orson
January 1, 2012 from WNPR

High in the Andes Mountains, Peruvians have been lining up to see a collection of antiquities that have finally returned home. The objects from the Inca site of Machu Picchu spent the past 100 years at Yale University in Connecticut, where they were at the center of a long-running international custody battle.

Now, the university is giving back thousands of ceramics, jewelry and human bones from the Peabody Museum in New Haven to the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture.
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March 27, 2012

The problems with the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act

Posted at 2:01 pm in Similar cases

Marc Masurovsky has helped me out, by going into some of the issues with the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act.

The bill has now been introduced in the Senate as S. 2212. The worry is, that many of the successful cases that have been brought in the US in recent years, to secure the return of looted cultural property would no longer be possible. For those of you in the USA, the Senators supporting the bill are: Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch. As he points out, Fenstein has many major museums within her community, which includes San Francisco & Los Angeles.

As Marc says “It’s the end of art restitution as we know it.” Supporting such a bill would be a backward step for the country that is currently one of the more forward thinking (well compared to the UK at any rate) in terms of cultural property restitutions & the legal framework that allows them to take place. “After all, once you write a bill that carries with it select exclusions, it implies that you tolerate other forms of looted art to enter the US for display. Hence, the clarification to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act should either be all-inclusive or dropped entirely. It is absolutely critical for source countries to express themselves”.

Doubtless, many organisations such as the AAMD are unlikely to agree with this point of view.

More details of the act can be found in my original post on it.

March 26, 2012

US bill aims to protect looted art while on loan to US museums

Posted at 4:56 pm in Similar cases

In what can only be a backwards step, the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act, H.R. 4086 aims to protect looted artefacts from seizure whilst on loan to museums in the US. There is an exclusion for items looted by the Nazis, but (notwithstanding my reservations with a single special case that ignores others of equal merit), it excludes items that were lost through forced sales or other forms of misappropriation.

It is hard to see who will benefit from such a law other than big museums, who will find it easier to secure temporary loans for exhibitions. Surely creating exemptions in the law & allowing a free flow of looted artefacts into & out of the country is not the correct way to solve the issue though?

From:
The Hill

House to protect foreign artwork, except artwork stolen by Nazis
By Pete Kasperowicz – 03/19/12 10:02 AM ET

The House on Monday afternoon will vote on legislation aimed at making it easier for foreign governments to lend works of art to be displayed in U.S. museums, without fear of having the artwork subjected to litigation once it enters the United States. But the bill to be voted on would exempt artwork stolen by Nazi Germany from these assurances.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act, H.R. 4086, in February. Chabot says his bill is meant to clarify the relationship between two existing laws that has made some foreign governments wary of temporarily exporting artwork to the United States.
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The evolving moral and political climate for art museums

Posted at 8:27 am in Similar cases

Cleveland museum’s recent purchase of the Apollo Sauroktonos has been criticised by many archaeologists, because of the uncertain provenance of the work. The Museum has however, agreed to work with Italy to further research the sculpture.

From:
Cleveland.com

Conference at the American Academy in Rome illuminated the changing climate for Cleveland Museum of Art and other institutions that collect antiquities
Published: Saturday, December 03, 2011, 12:30 PM

Rome — The images of ancient Roman mosaics found and preserved recently in south-central Turkey were stunning.

Unfortunately, they flashed across the screen in a darkened auditorium at the American Academy in Rome too quickly. One had the impulse to shout at the lecturer, “Slow down!”

But the two-day symposium last month on “Saving Cultural Heritage in Crisis Areas” was running late, and Italian archaeologist Roberto Nardi had a lot of ground to cover in his dramatic tale of rescuing the mosaics from the rising waters of a lake created by the Birecik hydroelectric dam along the Euphrates River.
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March 24, 2012

Why do so many looted artefacts end up in museums

Posted at 11:46 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

For some artefacts, museums hold onto the excuse that at the time, it was accepted practice. But for many more recent artefacts that are looted, that excuse holds no water. Who should be blamed for this though – the dealers or the collectors? Are too many people / institutions willing to accept items with fairly questionable provenances that if investigated properly would clearly not be valid?

From:
Financial Times

December 2, 2011 12:02 am
Lost treasures
By Feargus O’Sullivan

In March this year, a statue of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, left the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, its home since 1988, to return to the Sicilian town of Aidone, where it was discovered.

Six months later, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts returned the Weary Herakles to Turkey, so the torso of the mythological Greek hero could be reunited with the legs and pelvis of a statue discovered near Antalya in the early 1980s.
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March 21, 2012

Turkey requests return of eighteen artefacts from New York’s Metropolitan Museum

Posted at 5:45 pm in Similar cases

The return of the Euphronius Krater to Italy a few years ago appears to have been far from the end to the Met’s problems over looted artefacts in their collection.

Further information on this story is available here and a more detailed description of the artefacts involved including photos is here.

From:
Artinfo

More Antiquities Woes for U.S. Museums Loom, As Turkey Demands 18 Artifacts From the Metropolitan Museum
by Benjamin Sutton
Published: March 20, 2012

Former Metropolitan director Phillipe de Montebello famously faced one of the greatest challenges of his career over looted Greek antiquities in the museum’s collection, ultimately diffusing it with his ingenious “returns-for-loans” strategy. Now, new director Thomas Campbell faces a fresh battle over dodgy antiquities, this time from Turkey. And it’s heating up.

At the beginning of the month the Turkish government made aggressive moves to assert its claims on supposedly looted objects, banning its own institutions from loaning antiquities to museums including the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Met, until artifacts held in those museums’ collections were returned. While the Art Newspaper reported that 12 unidentified items at the Metropolitan were in dispute, the blog Chasing Aphrodite is now claiming that the number has escalated to 18, and has even offered a specific list of the contested artifacts.
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March 14, 2012

The problems of coin collecting

Posted at 1:58 pm in Uncategorized

My sympathy for the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild in the US is somewhat limited – they want some sort of exemption from, or change of the law regarding ownership of cultural property & seem to be regularly pushing articles to highlight their case.

From:
San Francisco Examiner

Another hobby it’s legally hazardous to pursue
By: Walter Olson | 08/17/11 6:00 PM
Special to The Examiner

Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Ronald Reagan were among the many notable Americans who have enjoyed collecting ancient and historic coins.

Add to their number countless kids awestruck on their birthday when a grandparent presented them with a genuine coin from the Roman Empire to crown their treasure trove of more ordinary Liberty dimes and buffalo nickels.
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February 17, 2012

Met Museum to return nineteen artefacts to Egypt

Posted at 2:02 pm in Similar cases

The artefacts that the Met agreed to return in 2010 are now ready to be returned to Egypt.

From:
Reuters

New York’s Met to return 19 artifacts to Egypt: MENA
CAIRO | Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:23am EDT

(Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return to Cairo 19 artifacts dating back to the time of ancient Egypt’s teenage king Tutankhamen, the state news agency MENA said on Saturday.

Egypt has been pushing for the repatriation of major pharaonic treasures it says were plundered by foreign powers, including the Rosetta Stone now in the British Museum and Queen Nefertiti’s bust from Berlin’s Neues Museum.
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February 2, 2012

Agreement between Greece & US to limit importing of antiquities

Posted at 1:54 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

More coverage on the deal signed between Greece & the USA to restrict the importation of historic artefacts.

From:
Art Info

The U.S. and Greece Agree to Ban Imports of Most Antiquities, Despite Concerns Raised by Debt Crisis

Collectors in the market for Greek antiquities may soon find them harder to come by on this side of the Atlantic.

Standing at the Parthenon Museum in Athens, Greece last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Stavros Lambrinidis to restrict imports of ancient Greek artifacts to the United States.
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Hillary Clinton travels to Athens to sign cultural heritage protection memorandum

Posted at 1:48 pm in Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has signed an agreement with Greece, to restrict importation of antiquities, in an aim to help prevent looting of archaeological sites.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Clinton signs memorandum with Greece restricting import of antiquities
New agreement looks to end looting and black market sales by reducing the incentive to illegally remove such objects in the first place
By Helen Stoilas | Web only
Published online 21 Jul 11

ATHENS. While in the Greece on a diplomatic visit this weekend, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stavros Lambrinidis, concerning the imposition of import restrictions on archaeological and Byzantine objects. The new memorandum, which still has to be ratified by the Greek Parliament, would make it illegal for protected works of art to enter the US without the approval of Greek authorities.

The signing of the memorandum was yet another demonstration of the US government’s vocal support of Greece’s austerity measures to help the debt-ridden country get back on its feet. “America is just as committed to Greece’s future as we are to preserving your past,” Clinton said at the signing. “During these difficult economic times, we will stand with you. We are confident that the nation that built the Parthenon, invented democracy, and inspired the world can rise to the current challenge.”
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February 1, 2012

Chasing Aphrodite – Italy’s attempts to reclaim their cultural patrimony

Posted at 5:51 pm in Similar cases

Another review of Chasing Aphrodite – about the Italian’s hunt for looted artefacts in the Getty Museum.

From:
Washington Times

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Chasing Aphrodite’
CHASING APHRODITE: THE HUNT FOR LOOTED ANTIQUITIES AT THE WORLD’S RICHEST MUSEUM
By Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 384 pages, illustrated

The 19th century was the golden age of acquisition. European and American collectors, smitten with the lure of antiquities from Greece, Italy and China, spent recklessly to assemble great collections in London, Paris and New York. No one questioned that marbles from the Parthenon would get more careful attention in London than in Athens.

Then the tide began to turn. Italians became restless at the sight of their “patrimony” being exported abroad. In 1939, Italy passed a cultural property law stating that archaeological objects found after that date were the property of the state. In Athens, Greeks demanded the return of the Elgin Marbles.
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The effects of cultural artefact repatriation for Greece

Posted at 2:19 pm in Greece Archaeology

An interesting followup to the previous post about the ongoing problems of artefact looting within Greece.

From:
SAFE

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Repatriation Effects: Greece’s National Archaeological Museum

In the Galleries:

While we all revile the looting of archaeological sites and the illicit trade of artifacts, we can now begin to review the effects of the repatriation of ancient material back to the countries of origin. Here I am not referring to Native American remains, but the statues and vases created by the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. Recently, I visited the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece, which has seen financial and public relations troubles partly due to the national economic crisis. Here, I saw the 2007 repatriated kore from the J.P. Getty Museum standing amongst other statues without any bells or whistles describing its sordid history. Also on display was a bronze athlete, repatriated in 2002, propped in its own corner. I believe that the return of these objects reflect legal and ethical principles, which absolutely must be upheld.
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