Showing results 13 - 24 of 33 for the month of December, 2009.

December 22, 2009

How were the Benin Bronzes originally meant to be displayed

Posted at 1:48 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Much is said about context – not least by the British Museum. The reality though is that the original context for which many artefacts were designed was very different from the museum environments in which they are currently displayed.

From:
Modern Ghana

Forever Bronze
By Tam Fiofori

According to Omo N’Oba N’Edo Erediauwa, Benin bronzes were not meant to be kept in museums and used as decorative pieces. Rather, bronzes filled in for the absence of photography in Benin traditional society and the Oba’s court as bronze castings were specifically used to depict and document important events and activities of a reigning Oba of Benin.

Put another way, the thousands of Benin bronzes which were looted by the British from the Oba’s palace in 1897 and, are now in the British Museum, London, and in other museums and private collections in the ‘western’ world represent a ‘stolen library of the history of the Benin Kingdom’ and their rightful place remains the various ancestral spiritual altars/shrines within the Oba’s palace in Benin City.
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Egypt makes new efforts to secure return of Nefertiti Bust

Posted at 1:38 pm in Similar cases

Egypt is carrying on building pressure on Germany to try & secure the return of the Nefertiti Bust.

From:
Bikya Masr

Egypt, Germany to duke it out over Nefertiti bust
Joseph Mayton
6 December 2009 in Culture, Egypt, Egyptology, Europe, News

CAIRO: It has become the neverending story of Egypt’s Zahi Hawass to get Germany to return the famous Nefertiti bust. He has made threat upon threat against Berlin, demanding they give back what is rightfully Egypt’s. The threats have been met with laughter and skirting. Germany has no intention of returning their prized possession, taken from Egypt’s sands in the early part of last century.

Either way the diplomacy falls, the two sides will hold talks this month in order to see what will be done about the statue. Hawass believes the 3,400-year-old treasure was illegally taken from Egypt and should be returned.
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Glasgow museum returns Maori heads

Posted at 12:38 pm in Similar cases

Some Maori Heads held by the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow have been returned after 150 years.

From:
The Scotsman

Glasgow museum returns Maori heads after 150 years
Published Date: 06 December 2009
By Oliver Tree

SEVERED human heads kept at a Scottish museum have been returned to their native New Zealand after nearly 150 years in the archives.

Taken from the Maori tribesmen and transported to Scotland in the 19th century, the heads have been housed at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.
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December 20, 2009

Neil MacGregor turns up to observe Elgin Marbles protest

Posted at 6:33 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

American Mary Phillips made a protest about the Parthenon Marbles a few weeks ago, standing outside the British Museum dressed as a caryatid.

During the protest though, there was an unexpected appearance by British Museum director Neil MacGregor coming over to see what was going on.

Read all the details on Artknows.

Pictures of her protest are on Elginism’s Pinterest page.

December 16, 2009

Egypt to demand the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum

Posted at 2:25 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Egypt has made repeated requests in the past for the return of the Rosetta Stone. Most of these requests have been made to the press or at conferences – which rightly or wrongly are not counted as official requests. It now looks as though Egypt is planning on making a formal request for the return of the Rosetta Stone – Although I am uncertain that this will meet with a more positive response than previous informal requests did.

From:
The Times

December 6, 2009
Egypt to demand the Rosetta Stone from British Museum
Cristina Ruiz

EGYPT is preparing to make a formal request for the return of the Rosetta Stone, the ancient artefact that helped to unlock the secrets of the pharaohs, from the British Museum.

Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said he is preparing to “fight” for the restitution of the stone which has been on display in the museum in London since 1802.
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December 13, 2009

Egypt to hold talks over Nefertiti bust

Posted at 11:45 pm in Similar cases

Zahi Hawass is going to have a meeting twith the director of Berlin’s Neues Museum to discuss the future of the Nefertiti Bust. Whilst no wanting to pre-empt whatever is going to be discussed, it seems to me to be a positive step, in that any meeting is better then the requests being completely ignored with no opportunity for further discussion.

From:
Reuters

Egypt to hold talks over Nefertiti bust
Thu Dec 3, 2009 6:19am GMT
By Marwa Awad

CAIRO, Dec 2 (Reuters Life!) – Egypt, in a diplomatic tug-of-war with Germany over the bust of Queen Nefertiti, will hold talks this month to try to recover the 3,400-year-old pharaonic treasure Egypt says was smuggled out of the country.

Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told Reuters he will meet the director of the Egyptian Papyrus Collection at Berlin’s Neues Museum, where the bust is on display, on December 20 to resolve the row over Nefertiti, the mother-in-law of boy king Tutankhamun.
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December 10, 2009

Losing Marbles – Or what could happen on the return journey of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece

Posted at 2:21 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Events

I went yesterday evening to East 15 acting school’s play: Losing Marbles.

I’m not sure what I expected the play to be like – but it definitely wasn’t like any of the ideas I had in my mind. It was at the same time different & far better than what I had expected. As it still has one more night to show (at a different theatre) I won’t reveal the plot – but I can say that it is hilariously funny, ingeniously performed & well worth watching – whether or not you are interested in the story of the Parthenon Marbles.

As I mentioned before, there is one last chance to see it – in Colchester, Essex this Friday Night.

From:
University of Essex

11 December 2009
Losing Marbles and The Tart With a Heart

Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Joining TAS on the second night of Snow White: The Tart With a Heart, East 15 acting school present Losing Marbles, a tale of ancient grievance.

When a Greek immigrant attempts to singlehandedly return the Elgin Marbles to Athens, an epic struggle unfolds – hurtling from the Parthenon to the bowels of the British Museum and beyond. A startlingly profound musical satire on the nature of love and posession.

Tickets:
Full: £7.00, Conc: £5.00, UoE Students: £3.00

Booking information:
Ticket Hotline: 01206 573948
Book Online: http://www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/artson5
In person: University Gallery, Square 5
Monday – Friday 11 – 5, Saturday 12 – 4

December 9, 2009

Vote on the Rosetta Stone

Posted at 2:02 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Guardian’s Website is running a poll (closing tomorrow) on whether or not people think that the Rosetta Stone should be returned. Please go to The Guardian’s Website, to vote before the poll closes.

From:
The Guardian

Stolen treasure?
Ignoring the British Museum’s rebuffs, Egypt is demanding for the return of the Rosetta Stone, which has been on display in the UK since 1802. Should the museum give it back to Egyptian authorities?
Tuesday 8 December 2009 11.58 GMT

  • Yes. They stole part of Egypt’s cultural heritage
  • No. It’s about global cultural heritage. The country of origin doesn’t matter

Parliamentary Questions on the Elgin Marbles & the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:54 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Andrew George MP, Chair of the Marbles Reunited campaign in the UK has submitted two Parliamentary Questions relating to the Parthenon Marbles. The answers might be predictable, but they do help to clarify that there are no current official negotiations – something that needs to happen for the Parthenon Marbles to get any closer to returning.

From:
Hansard

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 30 Nov 2009 (pt 0003)
30 Nov 2009 : Column 373W—continued

[…]

Elgin Marbles

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with the Board of Trustees of the British Museum about the future management of its Parthenon marble exhibits. [302468]

Margaret Hodge: Neither my right hon. Friend, nor I have had any recent discussions with the Board of Trustees. However, he has met the Director of the British Museum and discussed the Museum’s capital programme. He has also been briefed by the Director
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Aegean Airlines will take the New Acropolis Museum around the world

Posted at 1:41 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Two new planes purchased by Aegean Airlines will publicise the New Acropolis Museum, with huge images of artefacts from the museum painted on their sides. This will publicise the New Acropolis Museum to help Greek Tourism – something that will also help to publicise the issue of the Parthenon Marbles.

(If you click through to the original article, there are images of the two planes.)

From:
Aegean Air

2 new Airbus aircraft, “Cleisthenes” and “Pheidias”, take the New Acropolis Museum and Greece on a journey around the world
Athens, November 26, 2009

Aegean, the largest Greek airline, announced a national cultural initiative, ultimately aiming at boosting the country’s international image, as well as supporting Greek tourism. In particular, the two new Airbus Α320 aircraft bearing the image of the Acropolis Museum’s Kori of Athens were presented during an event held at the company’s technical base. The inscription urges us to “Discover the New Acropolis Museum”, not to mention the Museum’s website at http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr. “Cleisthenes” and “Pheidias” become a live invitation to the New Acropolis Museum for millions of passengers throughout the world. They will be calling us on a tour through civilization, at each and every destination, at each and every airport.

These two airplanes however are not the only “vehicles” promoting the Museum and Greece. From the beginning of 2010 onwards, a special video that will be provided by the Museum will be broadcast aboard all 22 brand new Airbus aircraft owned by AEGEAN during all international flights. The video will introduce the newest jewel of Greece and Athens to travelers, let alone arouse their interest and encourage a visit.
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December 8, 2009

Benevento Missal to return under new Nazi loot law

Posted at 2:08 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Benevento Missal is likely to be the first artefact to be returned under the new Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Act. This is an interesting case, as it was one of the pointers that highlighted that a chance in the law was necessary. The British Library returned it – but only as a permanent loan, as the law would not allow them to transfer ownership rights. It is also interesting though that the first case highlights the major loophole created by the new law. Because of the difficulty in proving that artefacts were looted specifically by the Nazis, the law instead covers any art looted during that time period – with the assumption that such cases will typically relate to the Holocaust. In the case of the Missal though, there is no specific evidence to tie its removal from Italy to Britain to the Nazis. This fact was highlighted by the Marbles Reunited campaign in a submission to a consultation in 2006 by the DCMS Select Committee. Whilst such returns are admirable, the inconsistencies in the law & piecemeal legislation only serve to highlight that large institutions will not step back & look objectively at restitution issues as a whole, rather than picking bits out here & there, to try & appease people while most cases remain un-discussed.

From:
The Times

December 1, 2009
British Library to return Benevento Missal under Nazi loot law
Ben Hoyle, Arts Correspondent

A medieval book is to become the first item from a British national museum to be returned to its rightful owners under a new law governing looted artefacts.

The Benevento Missal, which was stolen from a cathedral in southern Italy soon after the Allies bombed the city during the Second World War, has been in the collection of the British Library (formerly the British Museum Library) since 1947. After a change in the law, it could be back in Italy within months, according to The Art Newspaper.
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December 7, 2009

China’s hunt for their looted treasures

Posted at 2:08 pm in Similar cases

The looting of the Summer Palace in Beijing (an act carried out largely under the instruction of the Eighth Earl of Elgin – Son of the Seventh Earl who took the Parthenon Marbles) continues to cause controversy today, due to the fact that many of the artefacts from the site have ended up in museums around the world – although often they are not even on public display.

Now though, China is making a first step towards resolving the issue, building up a catalogue of the surviving artefacts & where they are located.

From:
Wall Street Journal

China Goes Treasure Hunting
Nationalism, not art history, drives the hunt for Summer Palace artifacts.
OPINION ASIA – NOVEMBER 23, 2009, 1:16 P.M. ET
By PETER NEVILLE-HADLEY

Next year Beijing will mark the 150th anniversary of the burning and looting of the Summer Palace by British and French forces. But the city has hit on an odd way to commemorate these events: In preparation, Palace Director Chen Mingjie recently announced that researchers will attempt to catalogue every item looted from the complex and now in museums overseas.

At first sight this might appear to be a purely academic exercise. Mr. Chen says he wants to identify works of art, not repatriate them, but on closer examination the plan has all the makings of a public-relations effort aimed at the Chinese people themselves.
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