Showing results 1 - 12 of 28 for the month of August, 2006.

August 31, 2006

Greece anticipates return of Heidelberg fragment of Parthenon frieze

Posted at 10:03 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Further coverage of the return of two artefacts from the Getty to Athens & the imminent return of a fragment of the Parthenon frieze held by Heidelberg University.
This is a Reuters syndicated article which appeared in many newspapers around the world.

Washington Post

Getty-owned antiquities return home to Greece
By Karolos Grohmann
Thursday, August 31, 2006; 12:19 PM

ATHENS (Reuters) – Two ancient Greek artefacts, which were smuggled out of the country, came home on Thursday as part of an agreement with the J. Paul Getty Museum.

A 2,400-year-old, black limestone stele – grave marker – and a marble votive relief dating from about 490 BC went on display at Athens’ National Archaeological Museum only hours after being flown back from Los Angeles.
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Returned artefacts from Getty on display in Greece

Posted at 9:56 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The handover of two artefacts from the Getty to Greece has finally taken place & the returned pieces are now temporarily on display in the Athens Archaeological Museum. Hellenic Republic Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis uses the moment of the handover to reflect on the numerous other restitution cases that Greece is still pursuing. He also highlights the importance of the Parthenon & its sculptures to Greeks (something that the British Museum has never seemed to grasp) with the statement “For us, even a gram from the Parthenon equals thousands of years of world history“.
This is an Associated Press syndicated article which appeared in many newspapers around the world.

International Herald Tribune

Greece displays returned Getty antiquities, vows to seek more repatriations
The Associated Press
Published: August 31, 2006

ATHENS, Greece Greek officials vowed to step up their fight to reclaim the country’s plundered heritage after taking delivery Thursday of two ancient sculptures returned by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Presenting the artifacts in Athens, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said their repatriation was important “both symbolically and practically.”
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August 29, 2006

A restitution which should never have happened?

Posted at 9:52 pm in Similar cases

More details of the German restitution case, which many experts insist should never have been agreed to. The more one reads about cases such as this, the clearer it becomes that such mistakes harm the many legitimate restitution cases which museum around the world should be investigating.

Washington Post

Restitution of Kirchner Work Criticized
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 29, 2006; 1:05 PM

BERLIN — Art experts in Germany and Switzerland have criticized Berlin’s decision to hand back an expressionist painting to the heirs of the Jewish collector whose family sold it during Nazi rule in the 1930s.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting, “Berlin Street Scene,” is to be auctioned Nov. 8 by Christie’s in New York, which estimates its value as between $18 million and $25 million.
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August 27, 2006

Iraq’s problems with looted artefacts are far from solved

Posted at 9:45 pm in Similar cases

Donny George, Iraq’s most high profile archaeologist has resigned & moved to Syria, saying that the continuing problems in the country made him unable to carry out his job. The looting of Iraq was covered by the press when it first happened, but without adequate funding & resources, the looting will continue until little of the country’s cultural heritage is left.

The Guardian

Saviour of Iraq’s antiquities flees to Syria
· Violence and Sadrists drive away archaeologist
· Looting fear as funds run out to pay protection force
Michael Howard in Irbil
Saturday August 26, 2006
The Guardian

Iraq’s most prominent archaeologist has resigned and fled the country, saying the dire security situation, an acute shortage of funds, and the interference of supporters of the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had made his position intolerable.

Donny George, who was president of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, achieved international recognition for his efforts to track down and recover the priceless antiquities looted from Iraq’s National Museum in the mayhem that followed the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
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August 25, 2006

Contested Getty pieces to return to Greece

Posted at 9:27 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The Getty’s agreement to return artefacts to Greece progressed a step closer when ownership was signed over officially on August 20th. This is not the only Greek case that is progressing towards a conclusion though, as on Monday 4th September, Greek Culture Minister Voulgarakis will travel to Germany to accept the handover of the first fragment of the Parthenon frieze ever to be returned to Greece.

Middle East Times (Egypt)

Thursday, August 24, 2006
Contested Getty antiquities to return to Greece
August 24, 2006

ATHENS — Two antiquities held by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and contested by Greece will return to Athens August 31 after a “concerted effort” to secure their ownership, the Greek culture minister said Wednesday.

The items, an engraved funeral stele dating back to the fourth century BC and an engraved sculpture dating to the sixth century BC, will be displayed by the ministry “as soon as they return from the United States,” culture minister George Voulgarakis told reporters.
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August 24, 2006

Ancient art going home

Posted at 9:41 pm in Elgin Marbles

More coverage on the of the Heidelberg fragment of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens. This is an Associated Press syndicated article which appeared in many newspapers around the world.

International Herald Tribune

Briefly: British parties failed to declare all donations
Reuters, The Associated Press
Published: August 23, 2006


Ancient art going home

A German university will be the first foreign institution to return part of the 2,500-year-old Parthenon sculptures to Greece, the government said on Wednesday.

The small piece will be handed over by University of Heidelberg officials in early September, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said. Measuring 8-by-12 centimeters, or 3- by-5 inches, the relief sculpture of a man’s foot is far less significant than the British Museum’s collection of Parthenon masterpieces – known as the Elgin Marbles – that Greece has fought for decades to reclaim.

But its return is a highly symbolic act that officials in Athens hope will lead to further repatriations of the thousands of Greek antiquities in foreign museums and collections. (AP)


August 21, 2006

New Seven Wonders campaign to visit Acropolis

Posted at 9:18 pm in Acropolis

The New Seven Wonders campaign is inviting the public to decide on a modern day list of the seven wonders of the world. They are due to visit all the short listed candidates in the next seven months. In recognition of the Greek origins of the original list of the seven wonders of the world, the Acropolis will be the first site which is visited.

PR Newswire

News Release
Monday 21 August 2006, 8:00 GMT
New7Wonders Campaign to Visit All 21 Candidates
ZURICH, Switzerland, August 21 /PRNewswire/ —

– Touring the world-from Athens on Sept. 5, 2006 to New York on Mar. 6, 2007

Over the next seven months, the New7Wonders World Tour, featuring a huge hot-air balloon and a high-tech airship, will visit the 21 finalist monuments, allowing them to showcase their cultural significance. During the ceremony, an official certificate will be presented to each candidate.
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August 20, 2006

Art restoration experience on Parthenon frieze casts

Posted at 9:14 pm in Acropolis

More details of how the College of Staten Island are planning on incorporating their casts of the Parthenon frieze within their teaching programme.

SI Live (Staten Island Live)

Staten Island Advance
CSI has unique approach to teaching the classics
2 students getting hands-on experience in art restoration as they work on 12 detailed casts of the Parthenon Frieze
Sunday, August 20, 2006

The College of Staten Island is taking a unique approach when it comes to teaching the classics.

Capitalizing on the 12 detailed casts of the Parthenon Frieze they own, the college is giving two students hands-on experience in art restoration and will give numerous others the ability to learn Greek culture without leaving the school’s Willowbrook campus.
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August 19, 2006

An upgrade for Kenya’s National Museum

Posted at 9:05 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

High profile new museums such as those in Egypt, Greece and China may grab most of the headlines & add increased weight to restitution requests in future. However, other smaller museums such as the Kenya’s National Museum in Nairobi are also going extensive refits & upgrades – in this case assisted by EU funding. One would hope that the British Museum may look more favourably on restitution requests once the museum reopens with enhanced facilities for looking after its artefacts.

Magical Kenya

Treasures in transition

Kenya’s National Museum in Nairobi is world famous for its ethno-botanical collections, tribal artifacts and human fossils. The Museum has now temporarily closed for a major upgrade, reopening in July 2007. In the meantime, the next month is your last chance to see Hazina, a unique collection of East African treasures in downtown Nairobi.

Established in 1910, the Nairobi Museum has become a treasure trove of East African history, and by extension, of human history. The Museum houses some of the most significant discoveries in paleontology- including some of the oldest hominid fossils.
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August 17, 2006

Looted Peruvian treasure located in UK

Posted at 8:58 pm in Similar cases

In an unexpected news item, police in London have rediscovered an ancient Peruvian headdress looted 20 years ago. The seizure of the piece follows advice from Michel Van Rijn, a former art smuggler who has now rebuilt his life as an expert in tracking down stolen artefacts.

BBC News

Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Looted Peru treasure found in UK

An ancient Peruvian headdress which was looted from an archaeological site almost 20 years ago has been found by police in London.

It is considered a national treasure and disappeared in 1988 after a tomb in northern Peru was raided and its contents sold on the black market.
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August 16, 2006

Resistance to German restitution case

Posted at 8:43 pm in Similar cases

In most cases, it is almost impossible to convince museums to return artefacts despite overwhelming proof that they are looted. A recent case in Germany appears to show that their is a flipside to every such cultural construct. Many experts are now complaining that a piece which was returned was never looted in the first place. Without researching further into the details of the return & why the regional government of Berlin made the return it is hard to make a judgement into whether this was the right decision or not. However, one wonders if the outcry would have been so prominent, had the new owners of the piece decided to lend it to a museum or even keep it in their own house, rather than immediately selling it – showing that the restitution exercise was more about financial gain than righting history. The number of cases which have ended in such a way recently (that of the Klimt paintings and in a different way (although the same end result was achieved) the Feldmann paintings immediately sprint to mind) suggest to me that governments need to look at the law governing the return of Nazi loot, but in perhaps a different way to how they were intending to.
Cases such as this appear to bring little overall positive benefit to museums, & make them more wary of any restitution claims in the future. This should be contrasted with deals such as those made between Italy & the Getty & the Greek offer to the British Museum regarding the Elgin Marbles, where an exchange of artefacts could have beneficial results for both parties.

The Times

August 15, 2006
German art lovers angered by painting’s ‘surrender’
From Roger Boyes, of The Times, in Berlin

Art lovers are fighting to keep in Germany an evocative 1913 painting of a prostitute that was recently given back to its Jewish former owners.

The row over the painting — Berlin Street Scene by the expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner — could lead to a fundamental overhaul of the way the Government deals with art confiscated by the Nazis
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Martin Clunes to star in drama about cultural artefact restitution

Posted at 8:37 pm in Similar cases

A new drama series, which the UK’s ITV are starting filming on next year, is based around an imaginary restitution case involving the British Museum & a Maori tribe. If nothing else, it should help to raise the profile of the numerous restitution cases involving the museum.
(Relevant paragraphs are at the end of the article)

Manchester Evening News

Wednesday, 16th August 2006
On his best behaviour
Ian Wylie

MARTIN Clunes was delighted when he received an invite to perform at Buckingham Palace. “It was fantastic, I’m a huge royalist,” he grins.

“I absolutely adore the Queen. The first time I met her, I think I really put her off. I was just too excited. And you could see her thinking: `We’ve got a grinner!’ She moved on, wisely I think.”
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