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The British Museum Opens Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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The British Museum Opens

When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane's Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley's library, and Sir Robert Cotton's antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world's finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More...
Milica Boghunovich
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 12:39:07 AM
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When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane's Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley's library, and Sir Robert Cotton's antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world's finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More...

Whistle A lot of exhibits were stolen or misappropriated from many different parts of the world...
socratoad
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 7:14:58 AM

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Milica Boghunovich wrote:
When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane's Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley's library, and Sir Robert Cotton's antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world's finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More...

Whistle A lot of exhibits were stolen or misappropriated from many different parts of the world...


TrueShhh
socratoad
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 7:21:52 AM

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Milica Boghunovich wrote:
When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane's Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley's library, and Sir Robert Cotton's antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world's finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More...

Whistle A lot of exhibits were stolen or misappropriated from many different parts of the world...


True Shhh
uuaschbaer
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 7:23:16 AM

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Milica Boghunovich wrote:
When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane's Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley's library, and Sir Robert Cotton's antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world's finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More...

Whistle A lot of exhibits were stolen or misappropriated from many different parts of the world...


And still are. Fantastic collection, though.

*
Phil Redbud
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 9:41:36 AM

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Milica Boghunovich wrote:
When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, its exhibits were based largely on personal collections, including Sir Hans Sloane's Cabinet of Curiosities, Robert Harley's library, and Sir Robert Cotton's antiquities. Today, the museum is home to more than 13 million historical items. Its assortment of prints and drawings is one of the world's finest, and it houses such famous relics as the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Why is the ownership of the latter collection in dispute? More...

Whistle A lot of exhibits were stolen or misappropriated from many different parts of the world...


And your point is?


Oh, what fresh horror is this, Isn't it bad enough I lay the occasional egg?
Wanderer
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 10:08:53 AM

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Many of those artifacts would most surely have disappeared in the rubble of wars and insurrectionists if they hadn't been removed. No one nation or people own historical items. I think it is wonderful that we can share them. We saw an exhibition of mummies. Fascinating! My grandsons made me take them back so they could see if one the mummies had had a hard on. Nope, it was a finger.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 10:53:31 AM

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Wanderer wrote:
Many of those artifacts would most surely have disappeared in the rubble of wars and insurrectionists if they hadn't been removed. No one nation or people own historical items. I think it is wonderful that we can share them. We saw an exhibition of mummies. Fascinating! My grandsons made me take them back so they could see if one the mummies had had a hard on. Nope, it was a finger.


There's one way to get the kiddies interested in history! I got caught up & lost track of time just going through the article, let alone the museum. Love to go someday!

I see your point regarding how many of these artifacts have been "saved". I remember watching the news during the gulf war, priceless relics were being destroyed by the Taliban. I remember wondering where the cuneiform tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh were. Many of these relics were taken (yes, stolen) at a time when the countries of origin had no value for them, or didn't have the means to protect them from looting. That makes the question of ownership today to be more complex than that of stolen Nazi art, for example.


When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 11:32:32 AM

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From the TFD entry on the Parthenon

Quote:
After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. In 1806, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures, with the permission of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. Since 1983 (on the initiative of Culture Minister Melina Mercouri), the Greek government has been committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece.



It seems that it's not a mere theft of someone else's antiquities, but also a concern for preservation. The British Museum display of the marbles reflects considerable effort at determining the original configuration of the fragments recovered and educating the public on their significance.

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
striker
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 12:46:21 PM
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there's a room with old priceless manuscripts
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 2:41:51 PM

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Though I do enjoy museums at time I question many of their acquisition's, as I believe many were stolen from their country of origin. Of course after I have seen the destruction done to many historical items by the radical Muslim couture, is it that fare removed from when a attorney general of the united states had the breasts covered up on a statue near where he was speaking; he of course was one of those sic born again Christians, or so I've been told.

In any case, there is a good 'case' to be made for the museums doing an excellent job of preservation......
Phil Redbud
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 3:37:32 PM

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Fredric-frank Myers wrote:
Though I do enjoy museums at time I question many of their acquisition's, as I believe many were stolen from their country of origin. Of course after I have seen the destruction done to many historical items by the radical Muslim couture, is it that fare removed from when a attorney general of the united states had the breasts covered up on a statue near where he was speaking; he of course was one of those sic born again Christians, or so I've been told.

In any case, there is a good 'case' to be made for the museums doing an excellent job of preservation......



There is an interesting article on the issue of museum artifacts, or in this instance, the case against repatriation here It is quite long being just short of 3500 words, but there is an audio version there for radio lovers


Oh, what fresh horror is this, Isn't it bad enough I lay the occasional egg?
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 10:38:02 PM

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See the next post.

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 10:40:42 PM

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Phil Redbud wrote:

There is an interesting article on the issue of museum artifacts, or in this instance, the case against repatriation here It is quite long being just short of 3500 words, but there is an audio version there for radio lovers


Having read the article, I see two opposed themes. One is from the author, James Cuno, President and CEO of the Getty trust, holder of one of the largest collections of antiquities in the world, who argues that ancient antiquities are the treasures of all mankind, not of current governments looking to aggrandizement by linking themselves to the glories of ancient civilizations. Sharing arrangements would be the best way to present these artifacts in the countries of origin.

The other is the voiced by the contributors to the attached discussion of Cuno's article, generally directed at his notion that the art objects, taken from colonial subjects kept poor and ignorant by their oppressors, are somehow different from the other resources taken from their lands.





"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
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