Showing results 25 - 33 of 33 for the month of March, 2007.

March 13, 2007

Whose art?

Posted at 5:03 pm in Similar cases

A debate is erupting in the US on whether or not the country’s museums should be returning antiquities to their countries of origin.


Whose Art? A Debate Erupts Over Antiquities
American museums are returning some of the world’s great antiquities to their original homes. Should they? A new debate over who owns the past is underway.
By Cathleen McGuigan

March 12, 2007 issue – In 1972, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art paid a record-smashing $1 million for an ancient Greek vase known as the Euphronios Krater. It was worth every penny. The krater—a 12-gallon pot for mixing wine and water—was one of only two dozen surviving examples by the great painter Euphronios, and it even had his signature. Thomas Hoving, then the Met’s director, was so smitten by its classic beauty he called it “positively the finest work of art I’ve ever seen.” (Take that, Michelangelo.) But the 2,500-year-old krater did have one major flaw. It was stolen—dug up by looters from an Etruscan tomb near Rome and smuggled out of Italy just months before it was sold, an inconvenient truth the Met finally copped to last year. When the museum debuts its lavish new Greek and Roman galleries next month, its most notable antiquity will be left in a side gallery. Next year the Met is sending it back to Italy for good.
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March 12, 2007

High cost of battle for Aboriginal bones

Posted at 5:30 pm in Similar cases

The argument over stopping testing on the Aboriginal Bones in the Natural History Museum continues.

The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

High cost of bitter battle of the bones
March 11, 2007

BRITAIN is no stranger to accusations of cultural plundering. Its museums, often magnificent attractions in themselves, display relics from all over the world. But some collections are subject to fierce battles for reclamation by their countries of origin.

The British Museum in London has famously resisted returning the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles to Greece. But it appears to be less defensive about how it repatriates human remains than the Natural History Museum, which is engaged in a bitter fight with representatives from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
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March 10, 2007

Backlash about international expansion of the west’s museums

Posted at 5:27 pm in Similar cases

Another article inspired by the debate surrounding the Louvre’s current expansion plans.

Radio Free Europe

Friday, March 9, 2007
World: Western Museums Make Controversial Move East

March 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) — The Louvre Museum in Paris agreed on March 6 to lend its name to a new museum in the Middle East in exchange for cash. Outraged art lovers say the deal has tarnished France’s reputation and transformed the museum into little more than a retail store.

But the Louvre has simply done what many other museums already have: raised needed funds by trading on their famous names and collections.
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Bringing Greek archaeological sites up to date

Posted at 5:23 pm in Acropolis

Substantial investments are being made by Greece to equip some of the county’s most important ancient sites with hi-tech touch screen information displays that visitors can borrow to carry around the site as they explore it.

Canoe (Canada)

New gadget promises to enhance tourist experience in Greece

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – If you have ever wandered around a dusty Greek archaeological site in midsummer, clueless about what you are seeing or where you are going, help is finally at hand. Greece’s Culture Ministry on Thursday unveiled a hand-held gadget for visitors that offers high-resolution video, detailed diagrams of sites such as ancient temples, position indicators, and imagery along with stereo sound.
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March 9, 2007

China’s collaborations with the British Museum

Posted at 5:17 pm in British Museum

The British Museum gets to borrow part of the Terracotta Army – Chinese institutions also get loaned artefacts in return. The British Museum is proving that cooperation can create a win-win situation, so why is it so wary of entering into such agreements except where it is certain it has the upper hand before negotiations start?

Xinhua (China)

UPDATED: 20:07, March 08, 2007
Forbidden City to host British history exhibition

The Forbidden City – once off-limits to ordinary citizens and foreigners – will host a British history exhibition starting Friday.

The exhibition named “Britain Meets the World 1714-1830” will be held at the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, in Beijing starting from March 9 to June 10.
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March 8, 2007

Battle for skeletons in the Museum’s closet

Posted at 5:12 pm in Similar cases

The Guardian looks at the issues & implications of the cases for restitution being brought by Australian Aboriginal communities against institutions in the UK.
This site gets a mention in the article too.

The Guardian blogs

Battle for skeletons in the museums closet
By Matthew Weaver / Guardian 03:11pm

A group of Aborigines today began a three-day high court battle to stop London’s Natural History Museum carrying out scientific tests on 17th century aboriginal bones, before they are returned to Tasmania.

The museum is accused of “scientific racism” and violating the spirit of the dead, by planning to collect DNA samples from the 17 skeletons. The museum says the collection, which was originally robbed from graves by 19th century settlers, is irreplaceable.
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Louvre accused of ‘selling’ its soul

Posted at 5:08 pm in Similar cases

Yet more accusations from the French establishment about the Louvre’s attempt to establish outposts abroad with the help of private funding. Surely though increased fluidity & mobility in the display of artefacts is the direction that the world is going whether or not people like it.

The Scotsman

Wed 7 Mar 2007
Louvre accused of ‘selling’ its soul

LEADING figures in the French art world accused the Louvre of selling its soul yesterday in a deal to set up a satellite “branch” of the museum on an island in the United Arab Emirates.

Critics noted that the government had been in a hurry to sign the billion-euro deal before next month’s presidential elections, which could have seen the lucrative plan come to an untimely end if the Socialist opposition wins.
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March 3, 2007

Is cultural diplomacy the way forward?

Posted at 12:27 pm in British Museum

British Museum director Neil MacGregor regularly talks about how the museum is helping to spread cultural diplomacy. It appears tat the government has also now caught onto this phrase, courtesy of the Demos think-tank.

The Guardian blogs

Artful politics
A commitment to cultural diplomacy could open British politics up to the possibility of change.
March 1, 2007 5:00 PM

Charles Clarke was not the only senior government politician opening up a very public debate on the future of Labour policy yesterday. Secretary of state Tessa Jowell, speaking at a Demos forum on a new role for cultural diplomacy was doing the same – possibly unwittingly. In the cavernous, even overwhelmingly impressive Raphael Gallery in the Victoria and Albert Museum, she spoke about a new approach to arts and culture as vehicles for Britain’s “soft power” in the world as “a set of ideas whose time had come”.

She described the fateful weekend when the London bombings immediately followed the news that London had won the Olympic bid for 2012 as a juxtaposition of “hard and soft power”. In this, Jowell appeared to throw her weight behind the latter force as the way forward for the future. The best response to terrorism, she insisted, is to facilitate events where the world can come together in all its diversity and actively foster our connectedness.
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Aboriginal bones dispute could be settled by mediation

Posted at 12:23 pm in Similar cases

Britain’s Natural History Museum has offered to take the dispute over testing on Aboriginal remains to mediation in a bid to resolve the differences between the two parties.

The West Australian

Mediation for Aboriginal remains tussle
28th February 2007, 20:54 WST

A British Museum involved in a legal wrangle over the remains of 17 Tasmanian Aborigines has offered to take the dispute to mediation to avoid appearing in London’s High Court.

The Natural History Museum wrote to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) in a bid to come to an agreement over the return of the remains without continuing legal proceedings initiated by the community group.
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