The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures now has a Facebook page where you can become a fan of their organisation.
You can view their Facebook page here.
Two Australian government ministers have called for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece.
Ministers lose their marbles
Gemma Jones Political Reporter
July 12, 2010 12:00AM
THE state’s infrastructure is creaking, public transport is overloaded and the hospital system is sick – but two Government ministers seem more interested in 2500-year-old marbles.
Arts Minister Virginia Judge and Local Government Minister Barbara Perry have decided to dabble in foreign affairs by demanding the return of the Elgin Marbles.
The marbles are sculptures and panels that were removed from the ancient Parthenon, in Athens, by Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, in 1801.
Bruce sold them to the British government and Greece has long demanded that the “Parthenon Marbles” – as it prefers to call them – be returned from the British Museum in London, where they now reside.
Ms Judge accused the museum of acting like “some colonial power” and called on Britain to return the sculptures. Ms Perry also waded in and said: “I hope the message from this Parliament will be heard in Britain.”
But in the two weeks since they spoke in Parliament, Britain appears not to have heard their plea.
An international campaign to have Britain return the marbles has been waged for years and both ministers said they had raised the issue on behalf of their thousands of Greek constituents.
“I do not ask the British Museum to return a vase or some statue with a missing limb. I ask it to return half the Parthenon, return it to Greece so it may be reunited with the rest of itself,” Ms Judge told parliament.
“It would be like having the Mona Lisa displayed in the Louvre, in Paris, while her smile is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in London.”
Ms Judge’s office said support for the return of the sculptures had also been raised in Federal Parliament by a Liberal MP.
A spokeswoman said 3000 Greeks lived in Ms Judge’s electorate of Strathfield and many had asked her to raise their plight in parliament.
“The president of the International Committee for the Parthenon Marbles, David Hills, also asked the Minister to raise the issue and was in Parliament when she made her speech,” she said.
Ms Perry added: “NSW has a very large Greek-Australian population, a lot of whom live in my electorate of Auburn. Many in the local Greek population are rightly concerned about this ongoing international issue. I simply put forward their views.”
Read the original article here.
It is now one year since the official opening of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. almost eveyone who has visited since then is in agreement that the new museum presents an extremely persuasive argument for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.
New Acropolis Museum celebrates first anniversary
More than two million people have visited the new Museum of the Acropolis during its first year of operation, according to figures presented by the museum to mark the first anniversary since it first opened to the public on June 20, 2009.
The museum’s board chairman Prof. Demetris Pandermalis said the museum received a total of 2,010,641 visitors in that time, had set research and scientific goals, made progress in the area of conservation and also in educational programmes.
He also announced the launch of the museum’s first touring exhibition “Pericles Xanthippos” on June 20. This uses archaeological finds such as inscriptions, coins and other artifacts to illustrate and explore the life of the famous ancient Athenian statesman, the man who led Athens during its ‘Golden Age’ and who conceived the idea of building the Parthenon. The exhibition will run until January 31, 2011.
The Acropolis Museum is the first public museum in the country that operates as a public-sector legal entity and its aim is to cover its costs with its own revenues as much as possible. It currently employs a staff of 200, some of whom are contract workers and civil servants detached from the culture ministry. It currently covers its public utility bills on its own and gets financial assistance from the Organisation for the Building of the New Acropolis Museum (OANMA).
Once a presidential degree on the operation of the museum is completed, following delays caused by the change of ministers and government, this will allow the museum to address the issue of hiring managerial staff and the position of the director will be proclaimed.
Pandermalis also referred to the museum’s medical unit and in-house doctor, noting that this had dealt with 377 incidents from November 1, 2009 until May 31, 2010, of which 67 percent were visitors to the museum.
The ticket will remain at 5 euros in 2011, by decision of the museum’s board, while it has also allowed the lease of the restaurant and cafe area on terms decided by the museum management.
Read the original article here.
Marbles Reunited campaign founder, the former MP Richard Allen has been made a life peer in the House of Lords in the diissolution honours list.
Dissolution honours: the full list of new peers
This is the full list of the new members of the House of Lords created in the Dissolution Honours.
Published: 8:00AM BST 29 May 2010
Liberal Democrat life peers:
Richard Allan, Nick Clegg’s predecessor in Sheffield Hallam and Chairman of the Information Select Committee.
Read the full article here.
Manchester University is organising a conference on Museums and Restitution. One fo the speakers at the conference will be George Vardas from the Australian Committee. The event will also be attended by Fabrizio Micalizzi from the Swiss Committee.
Museums and Restitution – International Conference
Museums and Restitution is a two-day international conference organised by the Centre for Museology and The Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester. The conference examines the issue of restitution in relation to the changing role and authority of the museum, focussing on new ways in which these institutions are addressing the subject.
Restitution is one of the most emotive and complex issues facing the museum world in the twenty first century. Its current high profile reflects changing global power relations and the increasingly vocal criticisms of the historical concentration of the world’s heritage in the museums of the West. The 2002 Declaration of the Importance and Value of Universal Museums, which was signed by the directors of eighteen of the world’s most prominent museums, pushed the subject to the forefront of debate as never before.
Over recent years, the issue of restitution has taken on a new complexion with different processes emerging. We have seen an increasing emphasis on museums working with source communities, and with new forms of restitution other than object restitution – such as visual and knowledge restitution. The language of discussion too has changed, with the term ‘reunification’, for example, rather than ‘repatriation’ now often being used in relation to the Parthenon Marbles. The opening of New Acropolis Museum in Athens in June 2009 has added a further dimension to the debates. We are also seeing new countries gaining increasing prominence in restitution debates: for example, the official response from the government of the People’s Republic of China to the Yves Saint Laurent auction of Chinese looted bronzes at Christie’s in Paris in March 2009. This is a trend clearly set to continue.
This conference will bring together museum professionals and academics from a wide range of fields (including museology, archaeology, anthropology, art history and cultural policy) to share ideas on contemporary approaches to restitution from the viewpoint of museums.
* New museums, new developments
* Visual, knowledge and digital repatriation
* Authority and power: voices listened to, voices heard
* Beyond ownership? Loans, travelling exhibitions, exchanges
* Reflections on returns
*New* Lunch-Time Discussion on Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, Prague’s Terezin Declaration and latest legislation. Find out more and get involved.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
- Tristram Besterman (Former Director, The Manchester Museum. Writer, adviser and mediator on museums and cultural issues)
Title of Keynote: ‘Cultural equity: an ethical paradigm for the sustainable museum’
- Prof. Piotr Bienkowski (Former Deputy Director, The Manchester Museum. Cultural, heritage and museums consultant, writer and researcher and Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester)
Title of Keynote: ‘Authority and the Power of Place: Exploring the Legitimacy of Authorised and Alternative Voices in the Restitution Discourse’
- Maurice Davies (Head of Policy and Communication, Museums Association)
Maurice will lead the onference closing session and discussion on Friday 9th July
* Dr Sam Alberti, The Manchester Museum / Centre for Museology
* Dr Kostas Arvanitis, Centre for Museology
* Malcolm Chapman, The Manchester Museum
* Dr Zachary Kingdon, National Museums Liverpool
* Dr Helen Rees Leahy, Centre for Museology
* Prof. Sharon Macdonald, Social Anthropology
* Louise Tythacott, Centre for Museology
Standard Registration Fee: £100 (£50 per day)
Student Registration Fee: £50 (£25 per day)
Please complete the conference booking form and e-mail it as an attachment to:
Hannah Mansell at: Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org
Or post it to:
Martin Harris Centre,
The University of Manchester,
Tel.: + 44 (0)161 275 3319
*Spaces are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment! – Please register by Monday 7th June 2010*
Call for Papers Deadline: 11th December 2009
Notification of Acceptance: March 2010
Registration Opens: March 2010
Registration Closes: June 2010
Conference Dates: 8-9 July 2010
Read the original announcement here.