Author: Michael J. Kurtz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2006-03-06
The Nazi war on European culture produced the greatest dislocation of art, archives, and libraries in the history of the world. In the ruins of the Reich, Allied occupiers found millions of paintings, books, manuscripts, and pieces of sculpture, from the mediocre to the priceless, hidden in thousands of secret hideaways. This book tells the story of how the American Military Government in Germany, spearheaded by a few dozen dedicated Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) officers and enlisted men, coped with restoring Europe's cultural heritage.
Author: Jos van Beurden
Publisher: Kit Press
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Business & Economics
The return of cultural and historical treasures touches on a number of political and cultural issues, and often inspires controversy. As the world is changing, the concept of return is changing as well. The shrinking divisions between a poor South and a rich North, colonizer and colonized, and source countries and art and antique market countries all impact our thinking about return. How do Dutch heritage institutions deal with this new reality, when the return of their objects or collections comes under discussion? That is the central question in this critical book. In The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures: The Case of the Netherlands, Jos van Beurden researches cases in which the Dutch state and Dutch heritage institutions have been handing over cultural and historical treasures that were acquired in colonial times and more recently. He investigates the dynamics of their return practice and gives his analysis extra depth by including cases in which the return has not materialized. The most remarkable of these is that of a keris--the traditional sword of Indonesia's national hero Diponegoro. Where is it? In addition to research the written records, many heritage directors and experts were interviewed for the book, making The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures an indispensable addition to the literature about return by the Netherlands of art and human remains.
Stolen, Smuggled Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures tells the dark and compelling stories of iconic cultural objects that were stolen, smuggled or sold, and eventually returned back to their original owner. The book includes full-color photos of the objects.
Author: Jos van Beurden
Release Date: 2017-05-22
This pioneering study charts the one-way traffic of cultural and historical objects during five centuries of European colonialism. It presents abundant examples of disappeared colonial objects and systematises these into war booty, confiscations by missionaries and contestable acquisitions by private persons and other categories. Former colonies consider this as a historical injustice that has not been undone. Former colonial powers have kept most of the objects in their custody. In the 1970s the Netherlands and Belgium returned objects to their former colonies Indonesia and DR Congo; but their number was considerably smaller than what had been asked for. Nigeria's requests for the return of some Benin objects, confiscated by British soldiers in 1897, are rejected. As there is no consensus on how to deal with colonial objects, disputes about other categories of contestable objects are analysed. For Nazi-looted art-works the 1998 Washington Conference Principles have been widely accepted. Although non-binding, they promote fair and just solutions and help people to reclaim art works that they lost involuntarily. To promote solutions for colonial objects, nine Principles for Dealing with Colonial Cultural and Historical Objects are presented, based on the Washington Conference Principles. The nine are part of a model to facilitate mediation in disputes about them. This model can help to break the impasse in negotiations between former colonisers and colonies.Europe, the former colonisers, should do more pro-active provenance research into the acquisitions from the colonial era, both in public institutions and private collections. "This is a very commendable treatise which has painstakingly and with detachment explored the emotive issue of the return of cultural objects removed in colonial times to the metropolis. He has looked at the issues from every continent with clarity and perspicuity."Prof. Folarin Shyllon (University of Ibadan) "Momumentaal werk van hoge kwaliteit. Het hoofdstuk over Congo is bijzonder goed gedocumenteerd en leerrijk"Dr. Guido Gryseels (Director-General of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren) CLUES is an international scientific series covering research in the field of culture, history and heritage which have been written by, or were performed under the supervision of members of the research institute CLUE+.
Author: Tiffany Jenkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-02-25
The fabulous collections housed in the world's most famous museums are trophies from an imperial age. Yet the huge crowds that each year visit the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, or the Metropolitan in New York have little idea that many of the objects on display were acquired by coercion or theft. Now the countries from which these treasures came would like them back. The Greek demand for the return of the Elgin Marbles is the tip of an iceberg that includes claims for the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria, sculpture from Turkey, scrolls and porcelain taken from the Chinese Summer Palace, textiles from Peru, the bust of Nefertiti, Native American sacred objects and Aboriginal human remains. In Keeping Their Marbles, Tiffany Jenkins tells the bloody story of how western museums came to acquire these objects. She investigates why repatriation claims have soared in recent decades and demonstrates how it is the guilt and insecurity of the museums themselves that have stoked the demands for return. Contrary to the arguments of campaigners, she shows that sending artefacts back will not achieve the desired social change nor repair the wounds of history. Instead, this ground-breaking book makes the case for museums as centres of knowledge, demonstrating that no object has a single home and no one culture owns culture.
A journey across four continents to the heart of the conflict over who should own the great works of ancient art Why are the Elgin Marbles in London and not on the Acropolis? Why do there seem to be as many mummies in France as there are in Egypt? Why are so many Etruscan masterworks in America? For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the ancient world to fill its great museums, but in recent years, the countries where ancient civilizations originated have begun to push back, taking museums to court, prosecuting curators, and threatening to force the return of these priceless objects. Where do these treasures rightly belong? Sharon Waxman, a former culture reporter for The New York Times and a longtime foreign correspondent, brings us inside this high-stakes conflict, examining the implications for the preservation of the objects themselves and for how we understand our shared cultural heritage. Her journey takes readers from the great cities of Europe and America to Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, as these countries face down the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She also introduces a cast of determined and implacable characters whose battles may strip these museums of some of their most cherished treasures. For readers who are fascinated by antiquity, who love to frequent museums, and who believe in the value of cultural exchange, Loot opens a new window on an enduring conflict.
Hmong story cloths provide a visual documentation of the historical and cultural legacy of the Hmong people from the country of Laos. The Hmong first began making the story cloths during their time in refugee camps, and featured here are 48 vibrant story cloths that provide a comprehensive look at their lives and culture. The creation of a story cloth begins with the selection of fabric and images outlined onto the fabric. Long satin stitches of multi-coloured threads fill in the image, while details are applied with intricate satin stitches and borders pieced together and hand-stitched. Topics include history, traditional life in Laos, Hmong New Year, folk tales, and neighbouring people. The quality and diversity of content of the story cloths build upon one another to provide a holistic understanding of the Hmong culture and history. Augmented with personal stories and artefacts, this book is perfect for history buffs and textile artisans alike.
Few beyond the insider realize that museums own millions of objects the public never sees. In Lost in the Museum, Nancy Moses takes the reader behind the Oemployees onlyO doors to uncover the stories buried along with the objects in the crypts of museums, historical societies, and archives. Weaving the stories of the object, its original owner, and the often idiosyncratic institution where the object resides, the book reveals the darkest secret of the cultural world: the precarious balance of art, culture, and politics that keep items, for decades, lost in the museum."
Author: James Cuno
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2012-05-23
The international controversy over who "owns" antiquities has pitted museums against archaeologists and source countries where ancient artifacts are found. In his book Who Owns Antiquity?, James Cuno argued that antiquities are the cultural property of humankind, not of the countries that lay exclusive claim to them. Now in Whose Culture?, Cuno assembles preeminent museum directors, curators, and scholars to explain for themselves what's at stake in this struggle--and why the museums' critics couldn't be more wrong. Source countries and archaeologists favor tough cultural property laws restricting the export of antiquities, have fought for the return of artifacts from museums worldwide, and claim the acquisition of undocumented antiquities encourages looting of archaeological sites. In Whose Culture?, leading figures from universities and museums in the United States and Britain argue that modern nation-states have at best a dubious connection with the ancient cultures they claim to represent, and that archaeology has been misused by nationalistic identity politics. They explain why exhibition is essential to responsible acquisitions, why our shared art heritage trumps nationalist agendas, why restrictive cultural property laws put antiquities at risk from unstable governments--and more. Defending the principles of art as the legacy of all humankind and museums as instruments of inquiry and tolerance, Whose Culture? brings reasoned argument to an issue that for too long has been distorted by politics and emotionalism. In addition to the editor, the contributors are Kwame Anthony Appiah, Sir John Boardman, Michael F. Brown, Derek Gillman, Neil MacGregor, John Henry Merryman, Philippe de Montebello, David I. Owen, and James C. Y. Watt.
Author: Fredrik Talmage Hiebert
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2008
Features the cultural and historical treasures of Afghanistan that were smuggled out of the National Museum by guards, curators, and antiquities lovers, who protected them from destruction by the Soviets and the Taliban.