Repatriation Of Relics & Antiquities: News & Specific Cases

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Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
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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

reductio ad absurdum

Are you claiming that everyone who supports this is doing "jejune virtue-signalling"?
 

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maximus otter

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How are we to frame something which meets the aims?

We are not.

The aim is PC salami slicing by creating more “victims”, and hence “oppressors”. This is a game which has no end, and should never have been started.

maximus otter
 

pandacracker

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We are not.

The aim is PC salami slicing by creating more “victims”, and hence “oppressors”. This is a game which has no end, and should never have been started.

maximus otter

Your right, the European powers should never have actively pursued a colonial agenda, but they did.

Now it's left to us to deal with the consequences.

Surely listening, instead of turning a deaf ear, is more constructive. Being sensitive instead of insensitive also helps.

We reap what we sow, both individually and collectively.
 

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Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
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The aim is PC salami slicing by creating more “victims”, and hence “oppressors”. This is a game which has no end, and should never have been started.

I think that is more how you interpret things?

The rationale includes, in no particular order, courtesy, legal ownership, self interest.
 

Tribble

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US prosecutors are seeking to confiscate a rare ancient tablet from a Christian museum co-founded by the president of retailer Hobby Lobby.

The 3,500-year-old artefact, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest works of literature.

Prosecutors allege that an unnamed auction house deliberately withheld information about its origins.

Hobby Lobby said it was co-operating with government investigations.

It bought the tablet from the auction house in a private sale in 2014 for $1.67m (£1.36m) for display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington.

The office of the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York says the tablet was illegally imported into the US.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52692846
 

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US prosecutors are seeking to confiscate a rare ancient tablet from a Christian museum co-founded by the president of retailer Hobby Lobby.

The 3,500-year-old artefact, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest works of literature.

Prosecutors allege that an unnamed auction house deliberately withheld information about its origins.

Hobby Lobby said it was co-operating with government investigations.

It bought the tablet from the auction house in a private sale in 2014 for $1.67m (£1.36m) for display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington.

The office of the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York says the tablet was illegally imported into the US.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52692846

Screenshot 2020-05-20 at 23.10.34.png
 

EnolaGaia

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An indicted ancient Khmer art and antiquities trafficker died last year. His daughter inherited circa 100 pieces from his ill-gotten inventory, and she is now returning them to Cambodia.
Controversial art dealer's daughter will return over 100 antiquities to Cambodia

When art dealer Douglas Latchford was charged with wire fraud, smuggling and conspiracy, US prosecutors not only alleged that he had trafficked stolen Cambodian antiquities -- he had "built a career" on it.

The indictment, brought before a New York court in 2019, claimed the British collector was part of an organized looting network that faked records for items it had taken or illicitly excavated from archaeological sites like Angkor Wat. Considered one of the world's foremost authorities on art from the Khmer Empire, which ruled between the 9th and 15th centuries, Latchford had served as "a conduit" for stolen treasures since the 1970s, according to court documents.

He died in Thailand in 2020, aged 88, before answering the charges. But now the late dealer's daughter, Nawapan Kriangsak, has promised to return all of the Cambodian artifacts, that she inherited from her father. Consisting of at least 100 statues and carvings, the collection is considered of such cultural significance that the country's national museum in Phnom Penh is being expanded to accommodate it.

Cambodia's Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Phoeurng Sackona, told CNN that news of the items' return had produced a "magical feeling." ...

FULL STORY: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/cambodia-khmer-artifacts-douglas-latchford/index.html
 

Nosmo King

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US prosecutors are seeking to confiscate a rare ancient tablet from a Christian museum co-founded by the president of retailer Hobby Lobby.

The 3,500-year-old artefact, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest works of literature.

Prosecutors allege that an unnamed auction house deliberately withheld information about its origins.

Hobby Lobby said it was co-operating with government investigations.

It bought the tablet from the auction house in a private sale in 2014 for $1.67m (£1.36m) for display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington.

The office of the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York says the tablet was illegally imported into the US.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52692846
Im confused as to why 'the museum of the bible' would want to display a tablet with the story of gilgamesh, surely if anything it goes some way to discrediting the provenance of the bible, being as it is basically the story that 'Noahs Ark' is based on?
 

Nosmo King

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I van understand the case for returning artifacts of a personal/religeous/spiritual significance such as human remains eg skulls, mummies etc, icons or fetishes also artifact with dubious provenance, but a lot of artifacts in museums were bought legally from the country of origin, just because now they feel it was wrong of their predecessors to sell it does not make for a legal or moral case to return an artifact
 

ramonmercado

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Looted carvings returned.

Two ancient sandstone carvings, believed to have been stolen from Thailand and smuggled to the US during the Vietnam War, are being repatriated.

The carvings were originally lintels - support beams - in temples dating back to the 10th Century and feature the Hindu deities Indra and Yama.

For decades they have been on display in San Francisco's Asian Art Museum. They are due to go on display at the National Museum in the Thai capital, Bangkok.

The San Francisco museum said it always wanted to return the beams to Thailand, but disputed experts' allegations that they had been stolen.

"We are very pleased that these lintels are going back to their country of origin," said Jay Xu, the museum director, in a statement.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57286063
 

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just because now they feel it was wrong of their predecessors to sell it does not make for a legal or moral case to return an artifact

I don't know of any cases where this is what happened.
 

Cochise

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Artefacts end up where they are. There are many reasons thereby. If we were to send everything back where it started from
it would go on forever - Roman relics have Greek influence for example. and why wouldn't it also apply to works of art?

I do understand the sentiment but it is one of those fanatic arguments dressed up in reasonableness with which current discourse is plagued.

Nevertheless there no doubt will be a small number of instances where it would be appropriate to shift stuff.

Current Italians have little or no descendance form BC Romans - as we have little or no descendance from William the Bastard. Who owns what?
 

Cochise

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The Elgin Marbles for example
And was it a legitimate purchase? That is, was the buyer given a price which he paid? If they were stolen that would be different.,
 

Nosmo King

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And was it a legitimate purchase? That is, was the buyer given a price which he paid? If they were stolen that would be different.,
I saw a progromme about the Marbles, i seem to remember, as the Greeks were using the Parthanon as a weapon and munitions store, and a lot of the freize had been damaged, Lord Elgin agreed to buy certain sections in order to preserve them, there is some argument that he took more than was agreed and paid for, but it is a lot of he said she said when it comes to specifics.
 

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Im generally in favour of repatriation. Most museums are stuffed full of junk anyway.

It can be used to build relationships with other museums.

But I am not in favour of emptying the British museum of non British things (As I have heard the fanatics suggest) Maximus otter brings up some really valid concerns.

And I don't like the way the museum is the villain in the media. we work to protect, study and understand things...and to share them.

The real villains are private collectors.
 

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The Elgin Marbles for example

you said

just because now they feel it was wrong of their predecessors to sell

This isn't what happened with the Elgin Marbles.

As I say, I don't know of any cases where "they feel it was wrong of their predecessors to sell" is part of any non-trivial discussion. It's the sort of thing usually suggested as a reason by the headline-driven press of the country holding the items.
 

Mythopoeika

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The Elgin Marbles were acquired during a period when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire.
So, it could be said that they were sold against the will of the Greek people.

Morally speaking, they should be returned to Greece and put in their rightful place.
It would also help in Britain's relations with Greece.

Edit: I may have said something different in the past (I don't know), but I've now had time to think about it.
 

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Can the Greeks look after the artefacts?

(Which would have long been destroyed by pollution if left in situ?)
 

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Can the Greeks look after the artefacts?

(Which would have long been destroyed by pollution if left in situ?)
That's a good question. I'd hope they would.
 

Yithian

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Can the Greeks look after the artefacts?

(Which would have long been destroyed by pollution if left in situ?)

Caveat: I love Greece.

Without getting into the political minutiae, successive Greek governments have ruined the country economically; I have no faith in their ability to act sensibly with regards to antiquities or anything else.

Additionally:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fakelaki
 

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Relatively recently, the world stood aghast as ISIS destroyed many statues and precious objects from antiquity. By all means return objects back to their home countries but don’t cry when their situation changes for the worse and they end up looted or smashed.
 

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Relatively recently, the world stood aghast as ISIS destroyed many statues and precious objects from antiquity. By all means return objects back to their home countries but don’t cry when their situation changes for the worse and they end up looted or smashed.

Why should the two things be mutually exclusive?

If something is repatriated that doesn't stop the shock and anger within and outwith the country if it is then destroyed. It then feeds into the ongoing situation.
 

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Why should the two things be mutually exclusive?

If something is repatriated that doesn't stop the shock and anger within and outwith the country if it is then destroyed. It then feeds into the ongoing situation.
Objects in the British Museum are safely housed and professionally curated.

How would we feel in the Rosetta Stone was returned and somehow got ‘lost in transit’?
The British Museum has been working to restore and return many trashed objects to the Museum of Afghanistan.

In 2001 the Taliban government of Afghanistan banned all representations of the human form, from depictions on TV and in painting to ancient sculpture. Statues in the National Museum of Afghanistan were decapitated and the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan were blown up. Many other ancient monuments across the country were also damaged at this time and it was probably during these months that another group of beautiful Buddhist sculptures was deliberately broken. Local dealers were afraid to handle such objects, but once the Taliban were overthrown later that year, these pieces were collected and smuggled out via Pakistan.

The looting of archaeological sites is a huge problem around the world and is particularly bad during periods of economic and political crisis. The British Museum works very closely with UK law enforcement agencies and countries worldwide to help fight the illicit export and sale of antiquities on the black market. Since 2009 the Museum has helped return 2,345 objects to Afghanistan, Iraq and Uzbekistan – mostly the result of illegal trafficking. This includes the identification, cataloguing and return of thousands of antiquities of all periods to Afghanistan, many others to Iraq and a monumental glazed medieval tile to Uzbekistan. A few weeks ago the Museum opened a new changing case display at the top of the East Stairs (Room 53) which focuses on this work. The first to be displayed are those very same Buddhist sculptures from Afghanistan that were damaged almost two decades ago. They will be on display until late December and then be returned to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul.

https://blog.britishmuseum.org/art-in-crisis-identifying-and-returning-looted-objects/

An example I suppose of why, in an unstable world, we can still have nice things.
 

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You are right.

In the BM, or (Hopefully) any accredited museum, we know the artefacts are fairly safe.

And the BM is open to everybody, free as well. You see people of pretty much every nation yo can imagine in the BM.
 

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Objects in the British Museum are safely housed and professionally curated.

How would we feel in the Rosetta Stone was returned and somehow got ‘lost in transit’?
The British Museum has been working to restore and return many trashed objects to the Museum of Afghanistan.



https://blog.britishmuseum.org/art-in-crisis-identifying-and-returning-looted-objects/

An example I suppose of why, in an unstable world, we can still have nice things.

I can't see where this explains the mutually exclusive issue.
 
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