Showing results 1 - 12 of 16 for the month of September, 2009.

September 29, 2009

When does a loan become permanent or semi permanent

Posted at 1:15 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

The British Museum Act forbids the British Museum from de-accessioning artefacts from its collection, unless they are duplicates of other items or damaged to the extent of being worthless. Attempts to legally circumvent it have been unsuccessful. This fact is regularly used as a wall by the British Museum when anyone asks to discuss the reunification of the Elgin Marbles – with the statement that even if they wanted to return them they couldn’t.

A solution to this has been put forward in the past by the Greek Government, suggesting that the sculptures could instead be located in the New Acropolis Museum on a long term loan – an arrangement that is supported by many in Britain. The British Museum has in the past avoided serious discussion of this, by stating that the concept of long term loans is oxymoronic – suggesting that a loan for a long duration is no longer a loan & essentially constitutes ownership, making it impossible.

A few weeks ago, I covered one artefact – currently in the British Museum on long term loan. It appears though that in their collection are many other similar cases, such as the chalice from Lacock detailed in the article below, which has been on loan to the British Museum since the 1960s. Clearly long term loans are a lot easier to contemplate when you are the recipient rather than the owner – but whatever point of view one takes on that, it is clear that long terms loans are very definitely possible.

Daily Telegraph

£2 million communion chalice could save church roof
A church appealing to raise money for a new roof has had its prayers answered after one of its silver communion chalices was valued at £2 million
Published: 7:00AM BST 28 Sep 2009

The medieval cup, which stands just a few inches high, was described by experts as one of the best-preserved specimens of its kind anywhere in the world.

It has been used by countless generations of worshippers at St Cyriac’s Church in the village of Lacock, Wilts, since the 1400s. But until now the chalice – on loan to the British Museum since the 1960s – has never been accurately valued.
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The benefits (or otherwise) of free museum admission

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

The British Museum makes much of the fact that the Elgin Marbles can be seen there free of charge, It remains unclear though whether this is really such a good thing as it is portrayed as being. Certainly, the museums are opened up to more people when they do not charge, but unless one lives within walking distance of them or is already in London, there are costs (sometimes significant) in getting to the museum in the first place. The focus on admission charges skims over any other questions about what the visitor experience is really like – is the cost everything? This is an argument that definitely has more than one side to it.

And finally – as many will probably have spotted, the headline of the article suggesting that its costs five Euros to view the Elgin Marbles in Athens is completely wrong. Not only is the actual admission charge for the New Acropolis Museum only one Euro. But the Parthenon Sculptures there are very definitely not the Elgin Marbles (this claim could possibly be made about those in the British Museum – but those remaining in Athens have never passed through Lord Elgin’s hands).


A fiver for the Elgin marbles, anyone?
Only in Britain are all the national museums and galleries free – it is time to show our gratitude
Ian Jack
Saturday 26 September 2009

Britain can still be a remarkably free country – free as in “goods and services provided without money changing hands”. Last week I went to see a doctor and a hospital consultant, got prescription drugs from a chemist, entered the British Museum and the National Gallery, travelled between all these people and places by bus and tube, and not once did my hand go into my pocket to retrieve anything more than a travel pass. Age (the travel pass) was only a minor cause of this free-ness. The rest of it – the close inspection of the Portland Vase at the museum, the sophisticated medical treatment, the special Corot to Monet exhibition in the gallery – would have been as free to a British citizen of any age, and the cultural part free to a citizen of any nationality. In this way British public taxation and private philanthropy have removed the financial barriers to the repair of both body and soul. This is perhaps a rather earnest perspective, to be disputed by the queues in A and E and people with no feeling for old vases, but there’s nothing like adjacent visits to a hospital and museum to make you feel the truth of it.
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September 24, 2009

Bernard Tschumi talks about the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:00 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum architect Bernard Tschumi talks about the aims of the project and how it was designed to hold the Elgin Marbles.

Listen to the audiovisual presentation at Pidgeon Digital.

September 23, 2009

Tokapi Museum director calls for Parthenon Sculptures to be reunified in New Acropolis Museum

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

On a visit to the New Acropolis Museum, the Tokapi Museum’s director Ilber Ortayli has stated that “There is no reason for the sculptures to remain in the British Museum and this is why you must continue your effort for their return,”

Athens News Agency

Topkapi director Ortayli tours New Acropolis Museum

The director of the famed Topkapi Museum of Istanbul, Ilber Ortayli, was given a grand tour of the New Acropolis Museum on Tuesday by the latter’s director, Prof. Dimitris Pantermalis.

Ortayli arrived in Greece within the framework of an international science conference that will be organised in Istanbul by the NGO “Aegean State” late next month, where Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who will be the keynote speaker.
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September 18, 2009

Aboriginals ask for more artefacts to be returned

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Australian Aboriginal representatives are in the UK to lobby the Wellcome Trust, Oxford & Cambridge Universities for the return of Aboriginal remains held in their collection – something that they are likely to be successful with, based on their track record in recent years since the introduction of the Human Tissue Act 2004.

They are also discussing another entirely separate case – that of a sculpted bus of the last true Aboriginal from Tasmania, claiming that it is racist art. I’m in two minds about this case – whilst I respect their views & the original motivation for creation of the bust may in part have been motivated by a racially prejudiced world view, there is no evidenced that this is what the sculpture is now being used to portray. This is not something that physically ever belonged to the Aborigines, but instead they are laying claim to a likeness or representation, something that could set a very uncomfortable precedent if they were successful. One possible compromise would of course be to remove the artefact from display, but still to retain ownership of it. Another might be for more informative signage to indicate to visitors the issues surrounding the piece. Because the bust is currently in the British Museum, the British Museum Act’s anti-deaccessioning clauses would rule out the possibility of any form of outright return – at present if those asking for the artefact have plans for circumventing this.


Aboriginal Remains, And a Bust, Sought From U.K.
Published: September 17, 2009

HOBART, Australia—She’s the most famous historical figure from the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in Australia, and 130 years after her death, representations of Truganini in the form of busts have provoked a continuing controversy.

Last month the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in Hobart stopped a Sotheby’s auction in Melbourne from selling busts of Truganini and her husband, Woureddy. Now, representatives of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community have flown to Britain in hopes of reclaiming another copy of Truganini’s bust, along with remains of other ancestors held by medical and academic institutions in the U.K.
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September 17, 2009

Elgin Marbles discussion at University of Tennessee

Posted at 1:13 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

This week, the University of Tennessee is using a regular discussion programme to talk about the Parthenon Sculptures and other restitution claims.

The Daily Beacon (University of Tennessee)

Beacon Bits
Staff Reports
Thursday, September 17, 2009 issue

Global Hour evaluates antiquities trade

This week’s Global Hour, a weekly discussion of current events, will address how nations are dealing with antiquities such as the Elgin Marbles. Removed from Greece to be displayed in the British Museum, the collection of marble sculptures are one example of a nation’s heritage that has been displaced. Global Hour will be held Thursday at the I-House from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Safeguarding the ancient treasures of the world.

Posted at 12:51 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Following on from their collection of films on the Elgin Marbles, World Focus have interviewed Cindy Ho from SAFE about efforts being made around the world today to combat looting and smuggling of cultural property.

World Focus

September 16, 2009
Q&A: Safeguarding the world’s ancient treasures

This week, Worldfocus aired a report by special correspondent Lynn Sherr and producer Megan Thompson exploring the new Acropolis museum in Athens and the controversy over the appropriate home for the many Parthenon sculptures currently housed in the British Museum in London.

The marble artworks were acquired by British ambassador Lord Elgin in 1816 for 35,000 pounds. Many Greeks think that the pieces, which came to be known as the Elgin marbles in Britain, should be returned to Athens.
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Do Greece’s ancient treasures really belong in London?

Posted at 12:43 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Marbles Reunited, New Acropolis Museum

World Focus have published four short videos on the Elgin Marbles and the various campaigns for their return to Athens. The video accompanying the second article includes coverage of the recent protest by Greek schoolchildren outside the British Museum organised with the help of Marbles Reunited, along with some information on the leaflet distribution campaigns and cartoons of the Parthenon Marbles, both organised by Marbles Reunited member Lazaros Filippidis.

As the text on each page is only a brief introduction to the video, I strongly recommend that you visit all the linked pages to view the actual videos.

World Focus

September 15, 2009
Do Greece’s ancient treasures belong in London?

The opening of the Acropolis Museum in Greece this summer has reignited a controversy over some of the sculptures that adorned the Parthenon, the most famous monument of ancient Greece. A number of artifacts, including about half of the Parthenon Frieze, now reside in the British Museum — but many Greeks argue they should be returned to Athens.

Lynn Sherr speaks to a group of students at the American College of Greece, who believe passionately the sculptures should be returned to their homeland.
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September 15, 2009

An hour in Trafalgar Square for the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 8:17 pm in Elgin Marbles

I was unable to make it to the protest on the Fourth Plinth by Sofka Smales. From accounts I have heard though, it was well received and attracted quite a bit of interest at ground level (which you can’t necessarily see from the video feed because of the camera position).

You can watch the video of the whole of Sofka’s hour on the plinth here.

Become a fan of Elginism on Facebook

Posted at 8:13 pm in Elgin Marbles

There is now a fan page for Elginism on Facebook.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you are a fan of the concept of Elginism & encourage looting and destruction of ancient sites – more that you support the aims of this site and its attempts to publicise restitution claims, in particular that of the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.

View the page and become a fan here.

September 11, 2009

Sofka Smales to protest in Trafalgar Square for return of Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 1:26 pm in Elgin Marbles

More coverage of the plans by a nineteen year old student to use her time on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square as a protest in favour of the reunification of the Elgin Marbles.

Todmorden News

Sofka takes a stand: Time on London plinth will promote cause close to her heart
Published Date: 11 September 2009

THE fourth plinth beckons for a student from Todmorden who will promote a cause close to her heart.

When 19-year-old Sofka Smales, from Todmorden, heard she had won a place on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, she decided to seize the opportunity to say “Send the Elgin Marbles home”.
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September 9, 2009

Elgin Marbles protest from the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square

Posted at 12:46 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

During the summer of 2009, the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square has been occupied by various people as part of a project organised by the sculpture Antony Gormley.

This Saturday, Sofka Smales, a student from Calderdale will be using her sixty minutes on the plinth to raise awareness for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens. Here time on the plinth will start at 11:00pm.

Halifax Courier

Wednesday, 9th September 2009
‘Send them back’ call: Elgin Marbles plea of our plinth ‘goddess’
By Colin Drury

AN art student will dress as a Greek goddess when she becomes the latest Calderdale person to take to the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, London
Sofka Smales, 19, will use her hour on the stone stand to campaign for the Elgin Marbles to be returned from London to Athens.

She was selected at random from more than 30,000 applicants to appear on the plinth as part of Antony Gormley’s One & Other project which sees a different person take to the plinth every 60 minutes for 100 days.
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