Repatriation Of Relics & Antiquities: News & Specific Cases

KeyserXSoze

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This thread concerns news and / or discussion of specific repatriation requests, cases, and actions.
For discussion of the general issues surrounding repatriation of relics and antiquities to other, prior or prioritized, locations see:


Repatriation Of Relics & Antiquities: Should They Be Returned?
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...cs-antiquities-should-they-be-returned.23050/


>Source<
Stolen treasures
Zahi Hawass wants the Rosetta Stone back—among other things

By Henry Huttinger

Egypt is once again calling for the return of several celebrated antiquities currently on display in museums across Europe and America, including the Rosetta stone, the famous granite slab that was crucial in deciphering hieroglyphics.

The campaign to recuperate priceless artifacts taken by colonial powers is not new. But in recent weeks Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the public face of archaeology in Egypt, has grown more strident in his demands in a campaign that coincides with a world tour of Egyptology’s favorite son, King Tutankhamun. Hawass has even threatened to shut down British and Belgian archaeological digs in Egypt if the artifacts are not returned.

“The Rosetta stone is one of the most important pieces in the British Museum, but it is more important for Egypt,” Hawass said. “It is an essential piece of our Egyptian national and historical identity and was disgracefully smuggled out of the country.”

The Rosetta stone—a dark slab on which a Ptolemaic decree is written in Greek, hieroglyphics and Demotic script—was discovered in 1799 by the French military. When the French surrendered to British forces in 1801, they tried to smuggle the 1,609-pound stone out of the country. It was intercepted by British troops and promptly delivered to the British Museum, where it has remained on display ever since.

Past efforts to retrieve Egyptian antiquities on display abroad have proven largely ineffective. Speaking at the 250th anniversary of the British Museum in London in 2003, Hawass demanded the return of the Rosetta stone. His call fell on unsympathetic ears, and he expressed his indignation to reporters following the event.

“If the British want to be remembered, if they want to restore their reputation, they should volunteer to return the Rosetta Stone because it is the icon of our Egyptian identity,” he said at the time.

Hawass has appealed to UNESCO to mediate the dispute and has encouraged 21 other countries also seeking the return of plundered artifacts to do the same.

“Our previous attempts at returning the Rosetta stone were ineffectual, but we hope that by organizing an international lobby, we can pressure with greater force the countries and museums in possession of such artifacts,” Hawass said.

In London, British Museum Communications Manager Hanna Bolton told Cairo, “The British Museum has not received an official request for the return of the Rosetta Stone.” Bolton refused to elaborate further, saying she was “confused” by Hawass’ statement.

Even with the backing of UNESCO and the collective voices of two dozen states, Egypt’s ability to convince Western museums to return priceless artifacts taken long before the concept of international property rights is uncertain.

There have, however, been some successes. On 19 July, the Australian government handed over several 2,500-year-old funerary statuettes, a bronze axe head and amulets that were confiscated in Melbourne. The artifacts had been smuggled out of Egypt under false papers as reproductions and were subsequently sold.

The Greek government and numerous international action groups have been campaigning for decades for the return of the Elgin marbles from the British Museum. The collection of marble sculptures was removed from the Parthenon in Athens in 1801 and taken to the British Museum, where it has been housed ever since. The museum has been notoriously unresponsive to Greece’s and other countries’ appeals, perhaps because artifacts such as the Rosetta stone and the Elgin marbles are a major draw for the British Museum’s five million annual visitors.

The principal obstacle facing countries like Egypt and Greece is the lack of any international legal framework that would allow countries to file suit against museums in possession of such artifacts.

UNESCO mainly serves as a negotiating forum. It lacks the teeth necessary to force governments to return plundered antiquities. “It is not an international court of justice or arbitration court,” said Mounir Bouchenaki, assistant director general of UNESCO’s Culture Sector.

Hawass, ever the flamboyant face of Egyptian archeology, is undeterred. He told Cairo, “If UNESCO fails, I will do it without them!”

Copyright2005 Cairo Magazine
So what do you think?
 
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Australia returns Chinese fossils

Australia returns Chinese fossils

Australia has handed back to China 10,000 fossils, including dinosaur eggs and ancient turtles, that had been illegally exported.
The fossils were seized following a request from China in 2003, and some were bought by Australians unaware they had been sold without permits.

The fossils, some of which date back 230m years, were handed over by Heritage Minister Ian Campbell.

He called their detour to Australia "a mere blip in history".

"It is a massive collection. It is one of the biggest fossil hauls in world history, and certainly the biggest in Chinese and Australian history," he said in a statement.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 296480.stm

Published: 2005/09/30 07:57:52 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

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Getty Museum in legal dispute with Italy over looted artefac

Getty Museum in legal dispute with Italy over looted artefacts


The Getty Museum in California has agreed to return three disputed artworks to Italy. Prosecutors there allege the treasures were purchased by curators who knew they had been acquired illegally. Up to 39 other treasures at the Getty are also being disputed but the Museum has offered the three pieces as a ‘goodwill gesture.’ J. Paul Getty Museum curator of antiquities Marion True has been charged with conspiracy to receive stolen goods and archaeological artefacts and will be tried in Rome in November. 56-year-old Ms True recently resigned over breaking museum policy on a separate issue. The three items being returned are a vase (krater) by Greek painter Asteas, a bronze Etruscan candelabra and a Greek epigraph. The Italian culture minister Rocco Buttiglione stated: ‘The works are returning without an admission of guilt ... but also without us withdrawing our accusations.’ In 1995, investigators in Geneva uncovered looted artefacts in a warehouse and were subsequently led to a number of notable museums and collections. (October 4th)

source

Url tidied up - Stu
 

ramonmercado

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Calif. Returns 200-Year-Old Hawaiian Skull

Calif. Returns 200-Year-Old Hawaiian Skull
Sat Nov 5, 5:55 PM ET



A 200-year-old Hawaiian skull found on Maui decades ago and later advertised on eBay was returned to the islands this week.

The skull of a Native Hawaiian warrior was taken from a construction site on Kaanapali in 1969 by a California teenager, who then tried to sell it on the Internet.

Jerry Hasson of Huntington Beach, now in his 50s, said he had sneaked onto the beach with friends and found an entire skeleton — but took only the skull.

An undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs contacted Hasson and bought the skull for $2,500.

Hasson pleaded guilty in May to a federal charge of interstate commerce with illegally unearthed archaeological items.

Edward Halealoha Ayau of the group Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei, along with Melanie Chinen, administrator for the state Historic Preservation Division, brought the skull back from New Mexico on Tuesday.

Uilani Pauole, attorney with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, said she couldn't say whether the skull was well preserved because she had not yet seen it.

She said Hui Malama, which repatriates Hawaiian artifacts and human remains, would work with the state to rebury the skull in its original place.

_____

On the net:

Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawaii Nei:
http://huimalama.tripod.com/
 

ramonmercado

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Dutch to Return Maori Head to N. Zealand

Dutch to Return Maori Head to N. Zealand

The Dutch Ministry of Culture said Tuesday it will return a tattooed and mummified 19th century Maori head to New Zealand.

The artifact has been in the Netherlands for more than 150 years, where it belonged to the royal collection of Dutch King William I and later was displayed at the natural history museum in Leiden.

The head will be sent to the Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand, Dutch Junior Culture Minister Medy van der Laan said in a statement.

Nine other Maori heads were returned to New Zealand earlier this year from museums in Britain.

The repatriation is important for "the collective memory of the Maoris and the Netherlands," the statement said. "It gives them a chance to regain their identity and confirm the value of their culture."

It is the first time a Dutch museum has returned human remains to their country of origin.

Maori
 

byroncac

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US Urged to Return Egyptian mask

Egypt has asked an art museum in the US to return a 3,000-year-old funerary mask it claims disappeared from the capital's Egyptian Museum decades ago.

The piece, known as the mask of Ka Nefer Nefer, is said to date back to the 19th Dynasty, 1307-1196BC.

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said the mask was discovered in 1952 in the pyramid at Saqqara, near Cairo.

It is thought to have been smuggled abroad before being bought by Missouri's St Louis Art Museum in 1998.

"The mask is in a very well preserved condition and it features the bust of a young lady called Ka Nefer Nefer," said Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass.

"It has a combination of glass inlaid eyes, a face covered with gold and a wig."

The mask was stored at the Saqqara site until 1959, when it was taken to the Egyptian Museum in the capital, Cairo.

Poor storage and a primitive documentation system used at the museum at the time are believed to have facilitated the mask's "disappearance" until it surfaced on the American market and was bought in 1998.

Jennifer Stoffeo, a spokesperson at the St Louis Art Museum, confirmed they had received the request from Egypt.

"We have written back asking for more information and included our research.

"We would like to come to a solution because we don't think that it was obtained illegally or improperly," she said.

Egypt's antiquities council has also asked the Basel Museum in Switzerland to return the left eye of a statue of King Amenhotep III, which it said was stolen from a temple in Luxor several years ago.

From the BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4746772.stm
 

OldTimeRadio

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byroncac said:
"Poor storage and a primitive documentation system used at the museum at the time...."
Please note that we are talking about the 1950s-1960s, not the 1850s-1860s.

I suspect that this is the reason many archaeologists believe that ancient Middle Eastern artifacts are much safer in, and will remain in existence much longer in, Western Europe and North America.
 

Rubyait

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Bristish Museum to Return Remains

The British Museum is to return two bundles of Australian Aborigine cremation ashes to Tasmania.
The remains will be sent to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre after the museum decided the aborigines' claim "outweighed any other public benefit".

The museum was given the power to transfer remains by the Human Tissue Act, which came into force in October.

The bundles, taken from a human cremation site, entered the museum's collection in 1882.

The Tasmanian centre had made repeated requests for the return of the remains but the museum said it could not consider them until the law was changed.

'Interrupted process'

The British Museum said the original acquisition of the remains in 1838 by British settler George Augustus Robinson had led to "an interruption in the process" of laying them to rest.

Museum trustee Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who led the move, said it was "the right course of action".

She said: "The museum looks forward to continuing to work with indigenous Australian communities in furthering the worldwide public understanding of Australian aboriginal culture, both past and present."

The museum said the bundles had been worn as amulets against sickness.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4844830.stm
 

ramonmercado

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Iran prepares to fight US over ancient Persian artefacts





Museums in Iran are looking to the US Justice Department to help protect Persian artefacts from being claimed as compensation by victims of a terrorist attack in Israel. The American survivors of the 1997 attack on a shopping district in Jerusalem won a multimillion-dollar suit against Iran who had provided support to Hammas, the militant group claiming responsibility for the bombing. Despite having already seized compensation in the form of property and some ‘”small bank accounts,” the group are now targeting a collection of 2,500 year-old clay tablets which have been on loan to the University of Chicago since the 1930s. According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune, a federal judge has called for the tablets, which bear an ancient cuneiform script, to be put up for auction, and there is already said to be a number of parties interested in acquiring the items. Iranian museums are now fearful lest their collections are targetted also. This move has proved controversial both in Iran and also the US and has resulted in increased tension between the two nations. A statement from the Iranian State-owned Centre for National Heritage said that “by ruling to confiscate the valuable collection of Persian relics held in trust at University of Chicago, and rejecting the ownership of Iran over these artefacts, an American federal judge has added fuel to the fire of the recent political crisis.” American lawyer Michael McCormick will head the case in defence of Iran when he presents his response on August 21st. He will argue that, under US federal law, only objects used for commercial purposes can be seized for compensation. "There's a very significant difference between antiquities which are on display for the public and private property," he commented regarding the University of Chicago’s apparent support of the proposed action, "It seems inappropriate." (July 19th)

Charlie Cottrell

Persian artefacts
 

rynner2

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Viz creator urges gospels return

Renewed calls have been made for the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the north-east of England.
The illustrated manuscripts, created by monks on Northumberland's Holy Island in about 700AD, were kept at Durham Cathedral for hundreds of years.

They are currently held at the British Library in London, where it is claimed they can be seen by more people.

Now Viz co-founder Simon Donald has urged officials to return to gospels to Durham Cathedral.

The gospels were produced by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne, and are regarded as one of the most important books in history.

'Crown jewels'

They are dedicated to St Cuthbert, who rose from humble beginnings to become Bishop of Lindisfarne.

Campaigners say the gospels should be kept in the region where they were created and would attract significant numbers of visitors wanting to see them.

A replica of the gospels is currently on show in the region.

Mr Donald, who co-founded the satirical Newcastle-based comic, said: "When looking at an ancient artefact, any archaeologist worth his salt wants to know the provenance of a discovery and its relationship to its surroundings.

"This is like not having the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

"The Lindisfarne Gospels belong back in the North East, in context, where they came from."

Meanwhile on Thursday - St Cuthbert's Day - members of the Northumbrian Association were using a traditional pilgrimage from Chester-le-Street to Durham Cathedral to highlight the campaign.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7306234.stm
 

ArthurASCII

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rynner said:
Campaigners say the gospels should be kept in the region where they were created and would attract significant numbers of visitors wanting to see them.
Hmmm. I'm not so sure that "significant numbers of visitors" will traipse all the way to Lindisfarne just to gawp at a book through a sheet of plate glass.
 

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Hmmm. I'm not so sure that "significant numbers of visitors" will traipse all the way to Lindisfarne just to gawp at a book through a sheet of plate glass.

They wouldn't have to traipse to Lindisfarne - just to Durham Cathedral.
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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ArthurASCII said:
rynner said:
Campaigners say the gospels should be kept in the region where they were created and would attract significant numbers of visitors wanting to see them.
Hmmm. I'm not so sure that "significant numbers of visitors" will traipse all the way to Lindisfarne just to gawp at a book through a sheet of plate glass.
I've been and they didn't even have the Gospels.

Durham would be worth a visit, too. :)
 

rynner2

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HEADS I WIN...

France to hand over mummified Maori head to New Zealand

The mummified, tattooed head of an ancient Maori warrior is to be returned to New Zealand after spending decades in a French museum.
Monday's handover of the "toi moko" follows years of campaigning by New Zealand officials and Maori elders.
It has been held at the Museum of Rouen in northern France since 1875.

More than 300 such heads have been returned from several countries since New Zealand began requesting their return.

French museum officials say they have no idea how the "toi moko" - which is intricately tattooed and has one damaged eye socket - came to be in their possession.
Until 1996, it had been on public display alongside the museum's prehistoric collection, said museum director Sebastien Minchin.
"As was done at the time, they compared the 'savage' from the other side of the world with our local cavemen," he told the Associated Press news agency.

It is thought to be one of some 15 similar relics in French possession and one of about 500 around the world.
New Zealand first began requesting their return in the 1980s, but France's laws on cultural artefacts meant it could not give up the Maori heads in its possession.

In 2007, Rouen's council voted to send theirs back, but were overruled by the Ministry of Culture, which feared it could set a precedent for countries to reclaim their historical artefacts.

A traditional ceremony with incantations will be carried out in Rouen's town hall on Monday to hand the head over to representatives of Wellington's Te Papa museum, who are touring Europe collecting the relics.
New Zealand's Dominion Post newspaper reported that the delegation would be bringing home nine heads in total.

"The French government have provided Te Papa, on behalf of Maori, the ability to bring these ancestors home," Maori leader Michelle Hippolite told the paper.
"This momentous occasion is filled with joy but is also a time for reflection on the journeys of these tupuna [ancestors]."
The Maori traditionally kept tribal heads as war trophies, but they later became much sought after by Western explorers.
They were in such demand that men were believed to have been killed specifically for their heads and slaves were said to have been tattooed and then killed. :(

Once back in New Zealand, DNA tests will be carried out on the remains where necessary to determine the correct ancestral lands for a proper burial.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13329600
 

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This Mummy comes with a Fortean pedigree: was found hidden under the floorboards in the pathology department at UCC during reconstruction work in 1970 but mystery surrounds how the mummy and a coffin came to the Cork university


University in talks with Egypt over future of ancient mummy
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 11207.html
BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

Wed, Nov 02, 2011

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE Cork is in talks with the Egyptian embassy regarding the conservation of an ancient mummy found at the university during reconstruction work in 1970.

The Great Egyptian Museum at Giza, designed by Dublin architects Heneghan Peng, is scheduled to open in 2013. It will house some 50,000 Egyptian artefacts, including some whose return is being sought from European countries.

The mummy located at the university in Cork, which has been dated to the period 305-30BC, was found hidden under the floorboards in the pathology department at UCC during reconstruction work in 1970 but mystery surrounds how the mummy and a coffin came to the Cork university

Yesterday, UCC curator Michael Holland told The Irish Times the university had been in contact with officials from the Egyptian embassy in Dublin.

The mummy is stored in the Boole Library with other items in its small collection of Egyptian artefacts. Mr Holland said the collection also included a coffin and canopic jars used during the mummification process to store and preserve the viscera of their owner for the afterlife but that the jars in the university collection were empty.

The collection, acquired by the university in the late 19th or early 20th century when it was Queen’s College Cork, has been the subject of inquiries from the embassy as Egypt seeks the repatriation of artefacts for a new museum.

“UCC looks forward to discussing the matter of proposed relationships between Egypt and cultural and academic institutions such as UCC, and with similar institutions in Egypt,” Mr Holland said in a statement yesterday.

A UCC spokeswoman said the outcome would depend on what was agreed between the university and the embassy.

Karim Moukhtar, second secretary at the Egyptian embassy in Dublin, told The Irish Times the embassy was waiting for a report on the state of the mummy and the coffin before forwarding the details to the antiquities council in Egypt.

The mummy is that of a man aged 45-50 years from the upper echelons of Egyptian society who appeared to have died from natural causes and who can be dated to the Ptolemaic Roman Period from 305BC to AD 500.


Edit to fix typo.
 

OldTimeRadio

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Very recent history suggests that the mummy will be safer in Cork than in Cairo or Giza.
 

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OldTimeRadio said:
Very recent history suggests that the mummy will be safer in Cork than in Cairo or Giza.

I come from Cork and I'm not so sure about that...
 

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A US based arts and crafts store has been fined and will be returning ancient clay tablets from Iraq that they had bought.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...y-lobby-to-forfeit-smuggled-iraqi-antiquities

more at link above
------------------------
The announcement by the Justice Department says Hobby Lobby bought over 5,500 artifacts, such as clay tablets and blocks with cuneiform writing, and cylinder seals for $1.6 million. The artifacts, originally from Iraq, were shipped to the company from the United Arab Emirates and Israel with labels that described them as "ceramic tiles" or "clay tiles (sample)."
 

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Well, if we nicked em, give them back, now, we would feel the same if situation was reversed
 

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How do we know they were stolen? Was it documented as such?

Or did some native spiv act as a go between?

I agree that many museums have sticky fingers (It is our nature to have sticky fingers along with our urge to hoard) but we at least try to preserve and comprehend artefacts. We are not the bad guys here.

Maybe we should send them something of ours?

The people to blame are the private collectors who buy up stuff they KNOW is of dubious provenance and let no specialist see it.

And the countries who have loose laws concerning other nations artefacts. (as in the case reported by Kalmankt. It is amazing the amount of stuff that is sold globally after recieving sympathetic rebranding. I myself could direct you to antiques dealers who will sell you something that is completley legit...but what it was before it recieved the right paperwork is anyones guess...)
 

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Home for Christmas!

Christians are celebrating the return to the Holy Land of a tiny wooden relic they believe was part of Jesus’ manger.

It has been returned nearly 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope. The thumb-sized relic was unveiled to worshippers at the Notre Dame church in Jerusalem for a day of celebration and prayer. On Saturday, it will be sent to its permanent home at the Franciscan Church of St Catherine, next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the West Bank holy site where tradition says Jesus was born.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/break...be-from-jesus-manger-to-holy-land-967388.html
 

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Cambridge University's Jesus College bronze cockerel to be repatriated

Source: BBC news online
Date: 27 November, 2019

A bronze cockerel at Cambridge University that had been looted in a British raid on what is now Nigeria will be repatriated.

The Benin bronze, known as an "okukor", was bequeathed to Jesus College in 1930 by a former British Army officer.

In 2016 it was removed from display and the Legacy of Slavery Working Party (LSWP) has recommended it be returned.

Master of Jesus College Sonita Alleyne said they were not trying to "erase history".

She said the decision came after "diligent and careful" work of the LSWP into the legacy of slavery at Jesus College.

https://www-bbc-co-uk.cdn.ampprojec...errer=https://www.google.com&amp_tf=From %1$s
 

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It's a good thing and should help to rebuild broken relationships, heal old rifts etc.

Quite right. l fret about our estrangement from the Aborigines every day.

It’s jejune virtue-signalling. Taken to its logical end, our museums will be reduced to walls of photographs, while irreplaceable ancient artefacts returned to less caring cultures will rot in warehouses, or be sold to fund Madame Dictator’s shoe- and Mercedes addictions.

maximus otter
 
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