Showing results 1 - 12 of 27 for the tag: Yves Saint Laurent.

November 22, 2010

Is China’s quest to recover looted artefacts from the Summer Palace likely to be successful?

Posted at 1:53 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Many experts feel that China’s attempts to catalogue (with the aim of eventually recovering) the artefacts looted from the Summer Palace in Beijing is unlikely to be successful.

France 24

01 November 2010 – 17H15
China bid to regain looted relics a tough task: experts

AFP – China’s call on museums and antique collectors around the world to return relics looted from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing 150 years ago is unlikely to yield any significant results, experts say.

The Army Museum in Paris and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum are just two of the institutions that possess items taken from the former resort for Qing dynasty emperors — and are not about to give them up easily, they say.
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November 3, 2009

China’s worldwide hunt for artefacts looted from Beijing’s Summer Palace

Posted at 11:23 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Further coverage of the decision by China to try & catalogue the artefacts in museum around the world that were looted from the Summer Palace. The British Museum says that they don’t see this as a threat – but then they said in the past that the New Acropolis Museum adds nothing to the argument for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

The Times

October 20, 2009
China in worldwide treasure hunt for artefacts looted from Yuan Ming Yuan palace

China is to send a team of artefact hunters to nearly 50 countries to track down thousands of treasures looted by foreign armies 150 years ago.

The experts will scour museums, libraries and private collections in Britain, the US, France, Japan and elsewhere to photograph and catalogue what was taken from the Yuan Ming Yuan, popularly known as the Old Summer Palace, after British and French armies sacked it in 1860 then picked through what remained in 1900.
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October 29, 2009

China wants to catalogue its artefacts in Museums abroad

Posted at 1:42 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

China hopes to send experts to foreign museums to build a more complete catalogue of the Chinese artefacts looted from Beijing’s Summer Palace in foreign museums (many of which are not on public display).

Agence France Presse

China experts to search abroad for looted relics
(AFP) – 2 days ago

BEIJING — China will send a team of experts to museums around the world in an effort to record more than a million cultural relics it says were looted from Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, state press reported Monday.

Museums, libraries and private collections in the United States, Britain, France and Japan will be the primary targets, the China Daily reported, citing the director of Beijing’s Yuanmingyuan, or Old Summer Palace.
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July 19, 2009

Can the New Acropolis Museum make a difference for the Elgin Marbles?

Posted at 6:35 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

In any statements given at the time of the New Acropolis Museum‘s opening, British Museum officials all stated that the opening of the new building made no difference to the arguments for reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. If this is the case, then the British Museum’s intransigence potentially has a knock on detrimental effect for many other restitution cases. In many respects though it could be the opposite – the British establishment are digging their heels in & burying their heads in the sand because they can see that the tide is turning in favour of repatriation & there is nothing that they can do to halt its progress.

Nigeria Guardian

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Row over Parthenon Marbles… new restitution challenges for Africa
By Tajudeen Sowole

RECENTLY, Greece opened its much-awaited museum, New Acropolis Museum, housing sculptures from the memorable age of ancient Athens. However, the Greek Government’s hope that the new museum would appease the British Museum that was dashed, as the latter remained adamant in granting a request for the return of parts of the Greek sculptures known as Parthenon Marbles – named Elgin Marbles by the British.

Out of an estimated 160 metres original of these marble sculptures, 75 are known to be in the British Museum while the rest are in Greece and Italy.
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April 5, 2009

Controversies over restitution claims

Posted at 12:38 pm in Similar cases

In recent weeks, there have been a number of controversial auctions involving looted artefacts. The attention that these auctions have attracted highlights how strongly many people feel about cultural property cases.

Digital Chosun ilbo (Korea)

Updated Mar.30,2009 12:59 KST
Efforts for the Return of Our Heritage Must Continue

Gandhi’s personal effects went up for sale at auction in New York on Mar. 6 and were bought by an Indian billionaire. Among his belongings were also a pocket watch, his sandals, and a bowl. Gandhi had presented the iconic round spectacles to a British colonel during the 1930s, telling him that they had given him the vision to free India. The leather sandals were given to a British officer before a roundtable meeting on Indian independence in 1931 because the officer took photographs of Gandhi.

News that these memorabilia were being auctioned off sparked outrage among India’s 1.1 billion people. The government and Gandhi’s descendents expressed their objections, saying it was an insult to Gandhi’s memory. The American seller responded he would cancel the auction if the Indian government sharply increased its spending on the poor by cutting its defense budget in half.
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March 17, 2009

Solving the issue of the Chinese bronzes statues

Posted at 2:21 pm in Similar cases

Whilst there may be a solution to the issue of the Chinese bronze sculptures being sold by the partner of Yves Saint Lauren, it is clear that there is not an easy option that will not leave one side feeling cheated. The sculptures have changed hands many times since leaving China, so the current owners feel that they hold no responsibility for occurrences long ago in the history of the artefacts.

Economic Observer Online

A Sober Look at Sorting out the Cultural Relic Scandal
From Lifestyle, issue no. 409, March 9, 2009
Translated by Zhang Junting

A rabbit and a rat removed from the Old Summer Palace; twenty-eight million euros in compensation; an invasion of Anglo-French into imperial Beijing, a Chinese legal team descending on Paris; a mysterious buyer’s irresistible offer and sudden refusal to pay; an auction and a demonstration; an heirloom, art-room, and nationalism abloom…

But before we delve into the heart of what may have been the most drama-packed auction in history, let’s rewind to its lengthy preface:
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March 10, 2009

YSL artefacts raise questions about art auctions

Posted at 12:31 pm in Similar cases

In an increasingly globalised economy, auction houses are finding themselves caught in the middle of disputes over cultural property.
This is not something that they can easily ignore though, as te disputes often involve countries as well as individuals – countries that these same auction houses also want to operate within.

The Independent

Auctioneers ‘hit in China bronzes row’
By James Pomfret and Ben Blanchard, Reuters
Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The heated row over Christie’s sale of looted Chinese bronze animal heads in Paris is being closely watched by key art market players for possible signs of a broader fallout.

Since Christie’s ignored protests from Beijing and last month auctioned off a pair of bronze rat and rabbit heads which were stolen from the Old Summer Palace in 1860, Chinese authorities have slapped strict checks on all future imports and exports by Christie’s, making it potentially more difficult to source top relics.
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March 9, 2009

China’s Melina Mercouri

Posted at 7:10 pm in Similar cases

This piece on the Chinese Bronzes identifies Cai Mingchao as China’s Melina Mercouri – someone who will spearhead the fight to reunify cultural property with its homeland. Events such as the ones involving the bronzes often re-expose fault lines in international relations that people had thought were long forgotten, by highlighting the inequities of the past.

Financial Times

Beijing bronzes expose faultline with west
By Geoff Dyer in Beijing
Published: March 6 2009 19:15 | Last updated: March 6 2009 19:15

Mention the Earls of Elgin and one notorious holder of the title springs to mind – the one-time British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (and 7th earl) who, in 1801, removed the marble sculptures from the Parthenon that are now housed in the British Museum.

His son is less well-known, but he was also responsible for what many view as an infamous act of cultural vandalism. In the aftermath of the second opium war in 1860, it was the 8th Earl of Elgin who ordered French, British and Punjabi soldiers to destroy the Old Summer Palace in Beijing.
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March 8, 2009

The Chinese bronzes & Gandhi’s glasses

Posted at 12:16 pm in Similar cases

Two recent auctions of disputed cultural property have drawn media attention to items that few people knew about previously. In both cases though, an added dimension has been created by attempts by the selling party to agree some sort of conditions under which they might be able to solve the dispute. This could be seen as an implicit acknowledgement that the restitution claims carry a level of validity, but in each case it has been used as a means to try & push a political agenda.

Standing back from the cases & temporarily setting aside the way in which the artefacts were acquired, it comes across as artefacts being taken, but then they can be returned to the original owners if they meet certain conditions. One has to ask, whether it is right for these selling parties to try & grab some small chunk of moral high ground (that they are prepared to negotiate – return the artefacts) where in reality they are holding the pieces to ransom as a means of trying to resolve other entirely unrelated issues. Whether or not the issues need to be resolved should not be the question & the setting of arduous preconditions to negotiations is merely a means of avoiding discussions that the sellers were never really interested in in the first place. The British Museum has in the past tried to attach similar preconditions to entering negotiations on the Elgin Marbles – as a barrier to prevent any sort of negotiations taking place.


Chinese bronzes, Gandhi’s glasses in art tussle
updated 8:47 p.m. ET March 8, 2009
Art auctions becoming battlegrounds over rights to world’s culture

LONDON – A bronze rabbit’s head was the first to go under the hammer, then came Mohandas Gandhi’s glasses and sandals.

Auctions are becoming a new battleground for art dealers, activists and aggrieved countries dueling for plundered antiquities and lost pieces of heritage.
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March 7, 2009

The perils of art auctions

Posted at 12:08 pm in Similar cases

Many disputed artefacts only appear above the radar during the rare moments when they change hands. As a result, it is hardly surprising, that the relatively light regulation of auction houses is also brought to the fore when various parties are making claims that they are dealing in potentially stolen property.

The Times

March 7, 2009
Richard Morrison on art auctions
Chinese sabotage at Christie’s is a warning to every owner of antiquities

One man’s terrorist, it’s often said, is another man’s freedom-fighter. Happily, there was no violence at Christie’s “auction of the century” in Paris last week. But the fury of the reactions to an act of sabotage by an incensed Chinese bidder has rocked the arts world.

The sale was of the late Yves Saint Laurent’s art collection. It went for a cool £330 million. But £28 million of that won’t be paid. It was the winning bid for two 18th-century bronzes, once part of a set of 12 animal figureheads on a water-clock in the Summer Palace outside Beijing. The fountain must have been rather cute in its prime. Each animal in turn spouted water for two hours a day. Then at noon all 12 would effusively spray in aquatic unison.
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March 4, 2009

The problems of disputed artefacts

Posted at 11:08 am in Similar cases

The auctions of Chinese bronzes & of Mahatma Gandhi’s spectacles have both stirred up controversy, leading many commentators to highlight how many other similar unresolved cases there are.

My Sinchew

They Are Auctioning Their Ancestors’ Shame
2009-03-04 12:35

When Chinese people are protesting against the auction of the two rabbit and rat bronze sculpture heads, the news of Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic spectacles, which he once said gave him “the vision to free India”, are to be sold at an auction in New York on 5 March, has caused public revulsion in India.

India, China, Egypt and Babylon are the world’s four great ancient civilizations. Sadly, in the human warfare history which is full of killings, a large number of relics from these ancient civilizations have become the victors’ bloody war trophies and are now losing abroad.
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March 3, 2009

World Have Your Say

Posted at 10:21 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The BBC World Service had an interesting program about disputed items of cultural property, prompted by the fiasco surrounding the auction of artefacts from Yves Saint Lauren’s collection & the imminent sale of some personal items that belonged to Mahatma Gandhi. A number of other cases were also discussed during the programme. I appeared on it briefly & this website also got a mention.

You can download a podcast of the programme here.

BBC World Service

02 Mar 09
On air: Should lost national treasures be returned?
By Ros Atkins

A Chinese bidder has refused to pay up over 30 million dollars that he successfully bid for two sculptures taken from Beijing in the 19th century. He’s being hailed as a hero in China, and it’s once again raised the issue of who owns items taken during past wars or colonial rule.

Recent examples….The Cleveland Museum of Art agreed to return 13 antiquities and a late Gothic processional cross to Italy after authorities there proved the works were looted, stolen or handled by traffickers. So does the time elapsed make a difference as to whether something should be returned – or indeed the way in which it was taken? A stolen greek vase was also returned to Italy.
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