Author Topic: Museum decolonization  (Read 1159 times)

guest5

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2021, 10:41:04 pm »
Why is the UK Refusing to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece?
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Brexit was a messy affair.  And that animosity is playing out in a long running dispute between the UK and EU over the Parthenon Marbles.  The Ancient Greek relics date back more than 2,400 years, and are now housed at the British museum.  Greece has demanded their return but the UK says the artifacts are staying in London. And it’s not the first time the UK has refused to return what many call, looted treasures.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TznVxge7bVs

90sRetroFan

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2021, 10:21:25 pm »
Some success:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/penn-museum-skulls-black-americans-return/

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A museum in Philadelphia apologized on Monday for collecting the skulls of Black Americans and vowed to return them to their respective communities. Dr. Christopher Woods, the director of the Penn Museum, expressed regret in a statement on behalf of the museum and the University of Pennsylvania of Archaeology and Anthropology for the "unethical possession of human remains."

"It is time for these individuals to be returned to their ancestral communities, wherever possible, as a step toward atonement and repair for the racist and colonial practices that were integral to the formation of these collections," Woods said. He also said they will reassess their practices of collecting, stewarding, displaying and researching humans.

It is a good sign that US museums are much more open to returning stuff than museums of the former Western colonial powers. This gives the US moral high ground that it can use in the future to hammer the former Western colonial powers with.

guest5

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2021, 12:40:10 pm »
Turkey fights to retrieve its stolen artefacts
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Turkey has ramped up efforts to retrieve its stolen artefacts in recent years yielding great success.
#Turkey​ #Artefacts​
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgoQhgz0C7s

90sRetroFan

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2021, 10:26:22 pm »
https://www.inquirer.com/news/move-human-remains-penn-museum-princeton-bombing-1985-philadelphia-20210426.html

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The University of Pennsylvania apologized to members of MOVE on Monday for using the remains of one of the group’s members as a case study in its anthropology classes, rather than returning them to the family.

“We understand the importance of reuniting the remains with the family and we are working now to find a respectful, consultative resolution,” a university spokesperson said. “... We are reassessing our practices of collecting, stewarding, displaying, and researching human remains.”

That is not an apology. Gouging out your eyes (which were used to study those remains) would be an apology.

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Meanwhile, members of MOVE, the West Philadelphia-based radical organization whose compound was bombed by the city in 1985 in a conflagration that killed 11, accused the city and the Penn Museum of mishandling and disrespecting the remains of at least one child who died in the blast.

They rejected the museum’s apology at a news conference Monday at the group’s West Philadelphia office, calling it empty words offered by an untrustworthy institution 36 years late.

Well done!

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Pam Africa, one of the group’s most vocal and prominent members, called the museum “body snatchers” and “grave robbers.”
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Another member, Janine Africa, said the museum’s handling of the remains was “the most disrespectful, hateful thing you can do to anybody.”
...
Consuewella Dotson Africa, the mother of the two oldest children killed in the 1985 bombing, became emotional during the news conference and left the room. She later returned.

”Some 36 years later they come to us and say they got some bones of our children. You go to hell with that bull—,” she said.
...
”I could not imagine, in my worse nightmare, that the government would drop a bomb on us and kill my brothers and sisters. And I could not have imagined 36 years later that they would be displaying parts of our family as if they’re some dinosaur relics that they dug up,”

I guarantee they would have no problem bombing us again if rightists ever regain power.

90sRetroFan

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2021, 01:10:50 am »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHR5pME8xQo

Not sure why the guests are wearing Western suits while complaining about Western colonialism, though. They direly need:

https://trueleft.createaforum.com/issues/dress-decolonization/

guest5

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2021, 01:35:56 am »
Germany to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria: A new era for stolen artifacts? | DW News
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It's being called a game changer - and the start of a new era. Germany has promised to begin returning the artefacts known as the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria next year, making it the first country to do so.
Germany has a collection of just over 1,000 Benin Bronzes. They're on display in museums in Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Stuttgart. The sculptures and metal plaques are from the ancient Kingdom of Benin - which is today known as Edo State in southern Nigeria. The Bronzes were looted by British soldiers in 1897 and sold to museums in North America and Europe. The largest collection of the Bronzes is held by the British Museum.
Nigeria has been trying to get the bronzes back for decades. Without success. But momentum has been building over the last few years, with calls growing ever louder for artifacts seized during the colonial era to be returned to their places of origin. Germany's culture minister explained why Berlin had decided to act now. She said:
''We are confronting our historic and moral responsibility. We want to contribute to a common understanding and reconciliation with the descendants of the people who were robbed of their cultural treasures during the times of colonialism.''
It's not just the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria that are wanted by their rightful owners. There is also a claim from Cameroon from where a special artifact known as the Tangue was stolen from a local King. More than a century later it is still in Germany. But not everyone in Cameroon is of the view that it should be brought back to the country.
In Douala, Cameroon Prince Kum'a Ndumbe III has been advocating for the return of the Tangue, a sculpture stolen from his grandfather in 1884. Prince Ndumbe has made a copy of the Tangue and put it on show in Cameroon.
The original artifact - looted by the Germans during colonial times - is on display at a museum in Munich.
But not everyone agrees that the Tangue should be immediately returned. Princess Marilyn Douala Bell is an artist and founder of an art center in Douala. Even though her great-grandfather was executed in 1914 for resisting German rule, Marilyn thinks Cameroon is not ready to receive the artefact.
Others in Douala also claim to be the rightful owners of the Tangue.  At least one more descendant of a Douala King has made a claim on the artifact. For Marilyn this is a source of concern.  She wants the tangue to be  returned but fears the conditions are currently not right.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWwe1jRbHWo


90sRetroFan

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Zea_mays

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2021, 10:21:31 pm »

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    A 3,500-year-old clay tablet purchased by the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain for $1.6 million has been forfeited to the United States.

    The tablet was illegally transported to the U.S. in 2003 and 2014.


    In a complaint filed in May 2020, prosecutors said the 5-by-6-inch tablet is considered the property of the Iraqi government and should be returned.
[...]
The tablet, which bears a portion of the epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian poem considered one of the world’s oldest works, originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and was illegally transported to the U.S. in 2003 and 2014.

A false provenance letter was used to sell the tablet several times before Hobby Lobby purchased the item from a London-based auction house in 2014.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/27/hobby-lobbys-gilgamesh-tablet-has-been-forfeited-to-the-us-.html

Previously, in 2015:
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On Tuesday morning, the Daily Beast reported that Hobby Lobby’s C.E.O. Steve Green, whose company successfully challenged Obamacare’s contraception mandate on the grounds that it violated the owning family’s religious beliefs, was being investigated for the allegedly illicit importation of biblical-era Assyrian and Babylonian artifacts into the United States.

The four-year investigation involves nearly 300 “small clay tablets” from what’s now modern-day Iraq and Syria, bound for the Museum of the Bible, a multi-million-dollar complex in Washington, D.C. and scheduled to open in 2017, largely financed by the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby and is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. But when the family tried to get the collections through U.S. Customs—having declared them, according to the Daily Beast, as “hand-crafted clay tiles” worth a collective $300—their actions triggered an F.B.I. inquiry. To date, the investigation is still ongoing, while a representative from the Museum of the Bible characterized the investigation as a problem spawned from “incomplete paperwork”.
[...]
Last February, the United Nations adopted a resolution stating that its members would seek to prevent terrorist groups, including ISIS, from profiting off these sales. According to Col. Matt Bogdanos, a single, four-inch cylinder seal from ancient Babylonia can sell for nearly $250,000 alone, and the U.N. ambassador from Iraq, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, estimated that ISIS earns more than $100 million per year antiquities trading.
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/10/hobby-lobby-ceo-antiquities-terrorism

90sRetroFan

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90sRetroFan

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2021, 09:12:46 pm »
https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/10/royal-british-columbia-museum-closes-indigenous-galleries

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Canadian museum closes Indigenous galleries to begin ‘the process of decolonisation’

The Royal British Columbia Museum will overhaul an entire floor of exhibits devoted to Indigenous and First Nations groups
...
The First Peoples Gallery is a conglomeration of many stories about Indigenous peoples, some in partnership with Indigenous peoples & others done expressly without consent. What exists is an incoherent gallery that is reflective of the colonial posture of the province itself.

Take this cradleboard for instance, which is part of the museum's 'Living Languages' display.

The museum claims that the object was ‘donated’ in 1929,” Sebastian said. “That was when Ktunaxa children were forced to attend residential school, when we could not hire lawyers, our cultural practices were outlawed, we could not vote and required the Indian agent's permission to leave the rez.”

The museum, one of Canada’s oldest, is situated in central Victoria on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations). It was founded in 1886 and today contains more than 7 million objects, including natural history specimens, works by First Nations groups and archaeological artefacts, as well as the British Columbia Archives collection of historical documents.

How many objects will be returned to their owners?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 09:14:26 pm by 90sRetroFan »

90sRetroFan

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2021, 03:43:13 am »

Zea_mays

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2021, 07:27:00 pm »
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A small clay tablet dating back 3,500 years and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh that was looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago and recently recovered from the United States formally returned to Iraq on Tuesday.

The $1.7 million cuneiform tablet, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, is one of the world’s oldest surviving works of literature and one of the oldest religious texts. It was found in 1853 as part of a 12-tablet collection in the rubble of the library of Assyrian King Assur Banipal.

The tablet was looted from an Iraqi museum during the 1991 Gulf War. Officials believe it was illegally imported into the United States in 2003, then sold to Hobby Lobby and eventually put on display in its Museum of the Bible in Washington.

Federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized the tablet from the museum in September 2019. A federal judge in New York approved the forfeiture of the tablet in July this year.

On Tuesday, the tablet was handed over to Iraqi authorities in a ceremony at Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the presence of UNESCO officials as well as Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and Hassan Nadhem, Iraq’s minister of culture, tourism and antiquities.

“We were able to recover about 17,926 artifacts from several countries, namely America, Britain, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands,” Hussein said.
https://apnews.com/article/science-travel-lifestyle-museums-united-nations-e434fb4f2cd88c02169682436897ae54

guest55

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2021, 08:48:52 pm »
Dark secrets of German museums | DW Documentary
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For centuries, Europeans lusted after exotic treasures from all over the world. Millions of objects were stored away by German museums during the colonial era. That’s left a cultural vacuum in former colonial countries.

Today, the restitution of these objects to their cultures of origin does happen - but it is the exception, rather than the rule. According to Bénédicte Savoy, a critic of Berlin's Humboldt Forum museum, most institutions are still stone-walling. "Their greatest fear is arousing desire. They don’t want to give things back. So they keep quiet."

Sealed off from the public, artifacts stored by German museums are often treated with neglect. Berlin's new Humboldt Forum won’t change that. There, some 10,000 artifacts are planned for public display. But the entire collection is one million objects strong. This means that the vast majority of artifacts continue to be stored in a facility in the suburb of Dahlem, which suffers from flooding, dampness, and infestations of vermin.

Indeed, many museums do not even know how many cultural artifacts they possess. Munich's Fünf Kontinente Museum has records of just 57,000 of its estimated 160,000 pieces, while Hamburg's MARKK, formerly the Museum of Ethnology, has no idea which objects are in which boxes following roof damage and the disposal of asbestos.

The Netherlands and France have undertaken the complete digitization of global artifacts. But in Germany, budget and staff shortages are standing in the way. When will indigenous communities be able to finally look at their own cultural relics held in Germany? And how well equipped are ethnological museums to make such heritage available to the cultures that created it?

The documentary takes a critical look at the situation, making it clear that the problems are not the fault of often extremely-dedicated museum staff. There are structural problems, and solving them will require increased resources, research, and transparency.

#documentary #museums #Germany #dwdocumentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBCzVxFcaKg

90sRetroFan

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Re: Museum decolonization
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2022, 08:39:38 pm »
https://www.yahoo.com/news/billionaires-looted-art-still-display-060904083.html

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Billionaire's looted art still on display at Israel Museum
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JERUSALEM (AP) — One of the Israel Museum’s biggest patrons, American billionaire Michael Steinhardt, approached the flagship Israeli art institution in 2007 with an artifact he had recently bought: a 2,200-year-old Greek text carved into limestone.

But shortly after it went on display, an expert noticed something odd — two chunks of text found a year earlier during a dig near Jerusalem fit the limestone slab like a jigsaw puzzle. It soon became clear that Steinhardt’s tablet came from the same cave where the other fragments were excavated.
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Museums worldwide are facing greater scrutiny over the provenance — or chain of ownership — of their art, particularly those looted from conflict zones or illegally plundered from archaeological sites. There are growing calls for such items to be returned to their countries of origin.
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In addition to the Heliodorus Stele and two of the ancient masks, at least one other Steinhardt-owned artifact in the Israel Museum is of uncertain provenance: a 2,800-year-old inscription on black volcanic stone. The museum’s display states the origin as Moab, an ancient kingdom in modern-day Jordan.

How it got to Jerusalem remains unclear.
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The Israel Museum declined interview requests and refused to show the artifact’s documentation.
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Israel has a legal antiquities market run by some 55 licensed dealers. They are allowed to sell items discovered before 1978, when a law took effect making all newfound artifacts state property.

This market has provided an outlet for the laundering of smuggled and plundered antiquities from around the Middle East that are given fabricated documentation by dealers in Israel.
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Morag Kersel, archaeology professor at DePaul University in Illinois, said the wanton plunder of archaeological sites across the Middle East ultimately “is all demand driven.”

“Looters do this because there’s someone like Steinhardt who’s willing to pay money and buy things that come straight out of the ground,” she said.

Under the deal, the Manhattan District Attorney seized 180 of Steinhardt’s artifacts and will repatriate them to their respective countries. Steinhardt also agreed to a lifetime ban from acquiring antiquities — though it is unclear how that ban will be enforced.

Steinhardt, 81, is a longtime patron of the Israel Museum and many other Israeli institutions, including a natural history museum at Tel Aviv University bearing his name. Since 2001, his family foundation has donated over $6.6 million to the Israel Museum, according to partial U.S. tax filings.
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The DA began investigating Steinhardt’s massive antiquities collection in 2017 after he loaned a Bull’s Head sculpture to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that had been plundered from a site in Lebanon.

The DA says the three items at the Israel Museum are “effectively seized in place,” and has opened talks with Israel to coordinate the return of 28 additional items. It said Steinhardt “has been unable to locate” the final nine items traced to Israel.

Of those 40 artifacts, more than half are believed to have been plundered from West Bank sites, according to court documents. An additional nine artifacts from Jordan, many sold to Steinhardt through Israel’s licensed antiquities market, are also being repatriated.
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For now, the plundered artifacts in the museum still bear Steinhardt’s name.

What all the Western colonial powers used to do is what Israel is still doing to this day.

Steinhardt was previously covered here:

https://trueleft.createaforum.com/true-left-vs-false-left/jews-have-nothing-in-common-with-us!/msg10206/#msg10206

« Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 08:41:46 pm by 90sRetroFan »