Showing results 1 - 12 of 18 for the month of July, 2007.

July 30, 2007

Is Britain a museum for the world?

Posted at 1:45 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Anthony Barnett writes about how the British should be responding to Greece’s building of the New Acropolis Museum.

Our Kingdom

Britain: museum for the world?
Posted on 28 July 07, 12:43 pm by ourkingdom

Anthony Barnett (London, OK): Back from Greece where I attended a wonderful ‘Symi seminar’ run by George Papandreou, leader of PASOK, the socialist opposition party hoping to win the elections due within the year. On the way back I was privileged to meet Professor Pandermalis, the head of the New Acropolis Museum now nearing completion – and then to be given a hard-hat tour of the building. It is going to be magnificent. My own photos will follow, this image from the plans gives just a taste of its quality and daring. On the top, built to the scale of the Parthenon itself, which can been seen through the glass, are the walls on which the original panels and sculptures of the Parthenon’s frieze will be hung. Most of them, the so-called ‘Elgin Marbles‘ are in the British Museum. It will be impossible to keep them there in the face of world opinion after the Athens museum opens.
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July 29, 2007

Deliberations on stealing from ancient sites

Posted at 12:58 pm in Acropolis, Similar cases

A reporter looks back on the ethics of taking any artefact, no matter how small from an ancient site without permission.

Peninsula Times (Qatar)

Laying a piece of history to rest
(By Jeffrey K Wallace)
Sunday July 29, 2007

The list of youthful indiscretions I planned to keep secret from my children stopped growing years ago, but with recent news reports about pilfered antiquities, big-name museums and possible prison terms, I realise there’s a piece of my history I still need to deal with. In the summer of 1973, I was an imprudent teenager (that’s no secret) enduring a family holiday in the distant lands of ancient Who-Cares-Ville. One afternoon in Athens, during a forced tour of the Acropolis, I wandered off from the group. Tourists were allowed to walk around inside the Parthenon in those days, and after I had had my fill of rubble and panoramic photo ops, I kicked back for a moment’s rest against one of the massive marble pillars.

I kicked back, heel first and much too casually, and an avalanche of marble shards crumbled down across my shoe. It was an accident, I swear — and it probably scared me; I don’t remember. What I do remember is placing a piece of one of the new-fallen rocks in my palm. Small as an olive, thin as a coin, older than Caesar it sparkled like a drachma-sized souvenir.
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July 28, 2007

Caring for our collections report analysis

Posted at 1:38 pm in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Selby Whittingham, a former curator at the Manchester Gallery and an art historian, has written an interesting analysis of the findings of the DCMS Select Committee’s Caring for Our Collections enquiry.

Selby Whittingham

House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Caring for our collections
6th Report of Session 2006-7, 2 vols, HC 176, 25 June 2007.

The Report and Evidence run to over 500 often repetitive pages with no index. Who will read it? ICON (Institute of Conservation) remarks: “Collections care has been the subject of a great many reports, studies, action plans and strategic reviews in recent years. The appetite for asking the same questions over and over again seems not to be diminished by feeding …” (Ev.69).
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July 25, 2007

Peru demands return of Machu Pichu treasures

Posted at 12:50 pm in Similar cases

The government of Peru is maintaining pressure on Yale University to return various treasures taken from the ancient Inca site at Machu Pichu.

Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Jul. 24, 2007
Peru demands return of Machu Picchu treasures

CUZCO, Peru —
On a scorching afternoon 96 years ago today, Hiram Bingham reluctantly left a cool mountain hut to resume his search for what he called “the lost city of the Incas.”

Bingham’s hopes had been dashed so often while scouring Peru’s outback in the preceding weeks that the Yale University professor, then 36, had few expectations as he followed an 8-year-old boy who claimed to know its location.
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July 22, 2007

Italy, the Getty & Libya

Posted at 1:57 pm in Similar cases

Whilst Italy tries to reclaim artefacts from the Getty, the Italian courts are trying to block the return of artefacts from Italy to their countries of origin. Just like the Axum obelisk all over again. Its funny how the cases are seen in such a different light when it means losing rather than gaining something.

Time Magazine blogs

July 20, 2007 10:57
Talk About Bad Timing
Posted by Richard Lacayo

From The Art Newspaper comes this story. At the very time that Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli has been fighting to reclaim Italian antiquities from American museums, an Italian conservation group called Italia Nostra is in court attempting to block the repatriation to Libya of a second century Roman statue of Venus that’s currently on display at the Palazzo Massimo museum in Rome. The statue was removed by Italian troops in Libya in 1912, at a time when Libya was a colony of Italy. (The latest edition of ArtNews, which contained an item on the story, puts the year at 1915. In any case, Libya was a colony from 1911 to 1942.)
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Demolition of old building for New Acropolis Museum opposed

Posted at 12:48 pm in Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

More information on the buildings that will potentially be demolished to clear views for the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Kathimerini (English edition)

Saturday July 21, 2007 – Archive
Opposition to Acropolis Museum

Protests by architects and citizens have intensified ahead of the planned demolition of two listed buildings blocking the view of the Parthenon from the new Acropolis Museum in central Athens.

The owners of the two buildings on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street – one a prime example of art deco architecture and the other an impressive neoclassical structure – have the backing of architects and representatives of cultural organizations who may seek legal action.
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July 21, 2007

Marbles in motion

Posted at 1:55 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Architecture as moral pressure – Greece’s New Acropolis Museum is going to step up pressure on the British to return the Parthenon Marbles.

Time Magazine blogs

July 19, 2007 3:02
More on Marbles in Motion
Posted by Richard Lacayo

I’m just back from a small press lunch with Dimitris Pandermalis, who heads the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum, and Bernard Tschumi, the architect of the new museum, which is nearing completion at the foot of the Acropolis. The museum will house the Parthenon marbles that remain in the possession of Greece, but as everybody knows it’s most provocative feature will be the galleries — partly empty galleries — designed expressly to hold the statuary that’s not in Greece. What that means, chiefly, is the Elgin Marbles that have been in the possession of the British Museum since 1816, when the British government bought them from that crafty Scotsman Lord Elgin.
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July 20, 2007

Acropolis sculptures boxed for move

Posted at 12:44 pm in Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum

More information on the transferral of artefacts to the New Acropolis Museum.

Middle East Times (Egypt)

Your World
Acropolis sculptures go in boxes for first-ever move
Catherine Boitard
July 19, 2007

ATHENS — Huddled on Athen’s Acropolis, archaeologists are fine-tuning an unprecedented, multi-million dollar operation to relocate Greece’s most prized antiquities to a new, modern showcase set to open in 2008.

Around 330 statues and artifacts from the Parthenon and other temples that overlook the capital are to be transported from the current museum, which was carved into the rock in 1874, starting in September.
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July 19, 2007

Greeks call off strike

Posted at 1:00 pm in Acropolis

It appears that I was not the only one thinking about the detrimental effects of the planned strikes by guards at Greek archaeological sites.

International Herald Tribune

Guards call off 4-day Acropolis strike
The Associated Press
Published: July 18, 2007

ATHENS, Greece: Acropolis guards on Wednesday called off a four-day strike after tour operators warned that repeated closures of Greece’s iconic tourist destination were damaging the country’s tourist industry.

Hundreds of tourists were turned away from the Acropolis last weekend when guards walked off the job for two days, with many visitors resorting to snapping pictures of the Parthenon monument from a nearby hill. The guards, demanding salary bonuses and job guarantees, had planned to hold a four-day strike starting Saturday.
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July 18, 2007

Is locking the tourists out the best publicity for Greece as a tourist destination

Posted at 12:56 pm in Acropolis

Any workers should be entitled to strike if necessary. Greek State employees use this entitlement more often than most. They should however look though at whether the negative publicity created by their actions ends up being completely counterproductive to them in the long term. This argument applies equally to the ways in which a government handles such cases.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Tuesday July 17, 2007 – Archive
Locking the tourists out

Going on strike means abstaining from work. Unless we are talking about Greece. For here, it can also mean picketing outside the entrance to an archaeological site. Guards here do not just go on strike, which, after all, is their right. No, they prevent thousands of tourists from all over the world from visiting the Parthenon, a monument of global cultural heritage.
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July 16, 2007

Israel confronts Turkey with restitution claims

Posted at 12:54 pm in Similar cases

If you can wade through the painful writing style of this article, & set aside any doubts about whether Israel has any real legitimacy on restitution claims from before its existence as a country, the result of this could potentially be interesting – like Italy & the Axum Obelisk, it is going to put Turkey in the situation of both asking for & being asked for restitutions. It will be interesting to see how they choose to handle this.

American Chronicle

Turkey and Israel to expand ties and alliance?
Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
July 15, 2007

An excellent opportunity appears for Turkey to launch a Fraternal Alliance with Israel in view of dramatic changes in the Middle East, involving Turkish Secularism’s imposition throughout the Middle East, eradication of Islamic Terrorism, and a final solution for Israeli presence on Palestine. It could all start from a small, 2700-year old inscription.

Few challenges appear like this, and one could use a symbolic political gesture in order to trigger overwhelming cultural alliances to the benefit of the entire Civilized World, not simply Turkey and Israel.
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July 14, 2007

Transfer of artefacts to New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:50 pm in Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum

The old Acropolis Museum has now closed ready for the move of artefacts to the New Acropolis Museum.

Athens News Agency

Transfer of exhibits to new Acropolis Museum

The old Acropolis Museum built almost next to the Parthenon on the summit of the Sacred Rock in Athens was permanently closed in early July after being in operation for 133 years and work has begun on preparing all its exhibits for transfer to the new Acropolis Museum designed by architect Bernard Tschumi by mid September.

Crews of expert conservators and restorers have undertaken to prepare the roughly 330 huge Parthenon exhibits for the transfer by replacing their brass parts with ones made from titanium and cleaning the surface of the statues and bas-reliefs using laser techniques.
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