The New Acropolis Museum is celebrating International Museums Day, with free admission & a series of special events.
Friday May 17, 2013
Celebrating International Museum Day around Greece
Museums around the country celebrate their past, present and future this weekend as a number of local cultural institutions take part in festivities marking this year’s International Museum Day.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day back in 1977 in an effort to raise public awareness with regard to the key role played by cultural organizations in societies. The annual celebration usually takes place around May 18.
According to an ICOM estimate, 32,000 museums in 129 countries took part in last year’s festivities. This year participating institutions will be exploring the theme of “Museums (Memory + Creativity) = Social Change,” tracing the evolution of institutions as they combine their rich heritage with innovation.
In Athens, the Acropolis Museum (www.theacropolismuseum.gr) celebrates International Museum Day on Saturday, May 18, with the museum’s doors opening at 8 a.m. until midnight and free admission for all. On the day, archaeologists will acquaint visitors with the fighting cock, the competitive ideal for athletes and fighters in ancient times and the motif behind the museum’s 2013 commemorative medal. During the tours conducted by the archaeologists, visitors will learn more about how as early as the beginning of the 5th century BC, “alektryonon agones” (cockfights) took place annually at the Theater of Dionysus. The 20-minute tours are limited to 25 visitors per session and will take place on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in participating are invited to visit the museum’s information desk. Talks are scheduled to take place in Greek at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. noon, 1 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. They will be in English at 10.30 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. A French tour has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Festivities will conclude in the museum’s entance courtyard with the Orchestra of the Center of Arts and Culture of Dion performing Greek and foreign works starting at 9 p.m.
In the northern port of Thessaloniki, the city’s archaeological museum (www.amth.gr) is hosting an opera evening on Friday, May 17, followed by a series of guided tours of its temporary exhibition “Trafficking of Antiquities: Stop It,” on May 18 and 19. Events marking International Museum Day are also taking place at the city’s State Museum of Contemporary Art (www.greekstatemuseum.com) and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (www.mmca.org.gr).
At the Benaki Museum (www.benaki.gr), International Museum Day will be celebrated from May 17 to May 19. On Friday, May 17, the museum pays tribute to the Crete University Press, as part of a series of events highlighting the efforts carried out by organizations promoting culture outside major urban centers. The event will feature talks by National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation president Dionysis Kapsalis and Benaki Museum director Angelos Delivorrias, among others.
Inspired by International Museum Day’s 2013 theme, the Benaki Museum celebrates 35 years of creativity at the institution’s shop and invites visitors on a behind-the-scenes journey tracing design from antiquity to the present on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. The tribute includes a series of workshops complemented by an exhibition which runs to July 28.
Lectures, guided tours, live music and free admission (until 11.30 p.m.) are on the agenda at the Archaeological Museum of Delphi on Saturday, May 18. The institution was selected by the Hellenic Committee of the International Council of Museums as this year’s honored museum. Museum-goers are also invited to join a guided tour of the area’s celebrated archaeological site on Sunday, May 19, starting at 9.30 a.m.
At the Byzantine & Christian Museum (www.byzantinemuseum.gr) archaeologists will conduct a series of guided tours of the cultural institution’s permanent collections on Saturday, May 18. The tours will explore various themes, including “Asia Minor: The Heart of Byzantium” and “Mosaics: From Excavation to the Museum,” among others. Guided tours take place from 6 to 7 p.m. and from 7.30 to 8.30 p.m. The museum is also organizing a series of educational activities on Sunday, May 19. Participation is free for children on Sunday. (Reservations can be made by calling 213.213.059 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.7 on Friday)
The National Archaeological Museum (www.namuseum.gr) is organizing a string of educational activities related to a contemporary mosaic exhibition featuring works by Dafni Angelidou, while the City of Athens Symphony Orchestra will perform on the museum’s premises on May 18.
At the B&M Theocharakis Foundation (www.thf.gr) doors will remain open to the public from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. The evening’s cultural program includes two treasure hunts for children, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., Buenos Aires tango tunes in the foundation’s outdoor space at 8.30 p.m., as well as a screening of Luis Garcia Berlanga’s 1953 comedy “Bienvenido Mr Marshall” at 8 p.m.
Read the original article here.
A new book by Dennis Menos of the US committee looks at a 200 year long story of life in London - as told by the Caryatid from the Acropolis, now in the British Musuem.
This highly informative and entertaining work of historical fiction focuses on the life and times of the Karyatis (Caryatid) statue, presently in the British Museum and of her longing to return home to the Acropolis. Presented in a series of vignettes spanning 2,400 years of Hellenic history, the story of the Karyatis makes for fascinating reading, beginning with the age when twelve Gods ruled the world from on top of Mount Olympus, to the day in 1802 when the statue was removed from her temple by Lord Elgin’s crew and was shipped to London. In the intervening years, the Karyatis was eyewitness to some of the proudest but also darkest moments of Hellenic history, as a series of great empires — Athenian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman — rose and fell. The story opens in the British Museum, where the Karyatis bemoans the start of yet another day in captivity. She longs to return home to the Acropolis in Athens hence she was forcibly removed. In the Museum we also meet Sophia, an artist living in London and an admirer of the Karyatis whose painting she is working on. Eventually, Sophia and the Karyatis “connect” and a lively “dialogue” ensues between the two…..
You can purchase this book on Amazon here.
A lecture is being given in Athens on the subject of "Returning the lost Marbles", looking at issues surrounding antiquities restitution & the law.
Lecture “Returning Lost Marbles’, by Ira Kaliampetsos
The Athens Centre would like to invite you to a guest lecture,
by Ira Kaliampetsos
Director of the Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology
“Returning Lost Marbles:
Antiquities Restitution and the Law”
Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 7:00pm
At The Athens Centre
Archimidous 48, Pangrati (Mets)
Wine and conversation follows the event. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 210-7015242 or 210-7012268.
Ira Kaliampetsos works as a lawyer in Athens. She earned her law degree from the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and continued her postgraduate studies on ‘Art and Law’ at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz, Austria. Her professional experience includes working for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a position she still holds), the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey and several assignments for election observation. In 2006 she co-founded the Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology (www.law-archaeology.gr), a non- profit organization dealing with all aspects of antiquities law – a field in which her law office specializes in. She is also a founding member of the Hellenic Wildlife Care Association, ANIMA (www.wild-anima.gr).
Read the original article here.
A large amount of news coverage has been given on British Prime Minister David Cameron's comments on the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which he also extended to the Parthenon Sculptures.
PM’s concept is simplistic and indadequate, say critics
Prime minister David Cameron has been condemned for a lack of understanding following his statement last week about restitution of cultural objects.
Cameron was answering questions on a state visit to the site of the Amritsar Massacre, where British troops killed 379 Indians, when he was asked if he thought that the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is part of the Crown Jewels, should be returned as goodwill gesture. The prime minister said he didn’t believe in “returnism” and that wasn’t the right approach.
He added: “It’s the same question with the Elgin Marbles and all these other things. I think the right answer is for the British Museum and other cultural institutions in Britain is to do exactly what they do, which is link up with museums all over the world to make our collections – to make sure that the things that we have and look after so well – are properly shared with people around the world.”
But the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles has censured the prime minster for conflating the two cases.
Eddie O’Hara, chairman of the committee, said that each case must be judged by its merits.
“In the case of the Parthenon marbles it is the probably unique demand for the reunification of the integral sculptured components of a Unesco world heritage monument, acquired in circumstances that were at best dubious, in an act of cultural vandalism.”
He added: “The fact that he conjoined two such widely differing cases as the Koh-i-Noor diamond and the Parthenon Marbles, and the fact that he called the latter the “Elgin” Marbles suggests that he does not appreciate what a simplistic and inadequate concept ‘returnism’ is.”
Read the original article here.
New legislation may ease the recovery of looted cultural treasures within Europe (although without seeing more details, it is hard to assess its exact impact).
New legislation to facilitate recovery of illegally removed national treasures
Article | February 19, 2013 – 1:52pm | By Elena Ralli
The European Commission is planning to help Member States recover national treasures which have been unlawfully removed from their territory by amending its current legislation that has several inadequacies. Consequently, the European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani proposed today to strengthen the possibility for restitution available to Member States.
As Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship stated: “Safeguarding the cultural heritage of all Member States is of major importance to the European Union. Our proposal is therefore necessary to further strengthen the effectiveness of the fight against illegal trafficking in cultural goods. The harmful effect on our national treasures represent a serious threat to the preservation of the origins and history of our civilization.”
The proposed changes would apply to cultural goods classified as “national treasures” unlawfully removed after 1993 that are now located on the territory of another Member State.
The suggestions regarding the amendment of the legislation include extending the scope of the definition of cultural goods, extending the deadline for initiating return proceedings in the courts of the country where the property is now located, using the internal market information system to facilitate administrative cooperation and information exchanges between national authorities and finally, asking any possessor of an object requiring compensation for returning the object to prove it was not knowingly acquired illegally.
Illegal trafficking of cultural goods covers a wide range of activities from the unlawful removal of cultural property without compulsory permission, to trade in stolen goods.
Read the original article here.