Monday, August 04, 2014

Repatriation - Summer 2014

BENIN CITY.- Two statues from among thousands of works of art looted by British soldiers in the 19th century have been returned to Nigeria, prompting calls for other "stolen" treasures to be repatriated. For more than a century, the artefacts from the "Benin Bronzes" collection had been in the family of retired medical consultant Mark Walker, whose grandfather was involved in a 1897 British raid in which they were taken. But on Friday, the statues -- depicting a fabled ibis bird and the traditional monarch's bell -- were given back to the Oba (King) of Benin, Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I, at a ceremony attended by royal officials and local dignitaries. Walker said he decided to return the statues to Nigeria in September last year after learning of their history, in part from his grandfather's diary from the time, which described the treasures as "loot". "That gave me the idea that perhaps they should go to the place where they will be appreciated for ever," he told AFP in Benin City, 240 kilometres (150 miles) east of Lagos. "I'm very proud to be part of this because it is clearly seen as an historic occasion.

PHNOM PENH (AFP).- Looted more than 40 years ago, Khmer statues returned to Cambodia from United States. Cambodia on Tuesday officially welcomed the return of three ancient statues looted from the kingdom more than 40 years ago, including one retrieved after a long legal

battle in the United States.[/url]

RIO DE JANEIRO - Art worth $4.5m found hidden in Brazilian shipping container
Authorities in Rio de Janeiro are investigating whether the works are part of a money laundering scheme
01 July 2014

CARACAS - Stolen Matisse painting returned to Venezuela after more than a decade
But question marks still hang over the theft from a Caracas museum 08 July 2014

CAIRO  Egyptian artefacts recovered after looting, now on show in Cairo
But the country’s heritage remains at risk

PARIS.- "International Council of Museums' Committee for Egyptology expresses concern over sale of Sekhemka". Advocating for ethical conduct by museums and museum professionals, ICOM CIPEG cites the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, and particularly its article 2.16 on the “income from disposal of collections*,” calling on the Northampton Borough Council (UK) to abandon the sale of the Sekhemka statue at Christie’s London this Thursday 10 July, 2014.[/url]

LONDON Christies Auction House - A 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue expected to raise about £6m has sold for £15.76m at Christie's of London.
Northampton Borough Council auctioned the Sekhemka limestone statue to help fund a £14m extension to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.
However, Arts Council England had warned the council its museum could lose its accreditation status. The Egyptian ambassador to Britain said the council should have handed the statue back if it did not want it.
Sekhemka statue The limestone statue is 30in (76cm) high and it was "gifted" to Northampton in 1880
Sekhemka statue The statue of Sekhemka - who was a royal chief, judge and administrator - shows him reading a scroll
His Excellency Ahsraf Elkholy Ahsraf Elkholy, the Egyptian Ambassador, condemned the sale
Before the auction, Egyptian Ambassador Ahsraf Elkholy condemned the sale as an "an abuse to the Egyptian archaeology and the cultural property".
He said: "Our objection starts from this basic principle: how can a museum sell a piece in its collection when it should be on display to the public?"
The ambassador said: "We are concerned this piece may be moved into a private collection.
'Darkest cultural day'
"A museum should not be a store. Sekhemka belongs to Egypt and if Northampton Borough Council does not want it then it must be given back.
"It's not ethical that it will be sold for profit and also not acceptable. The council should have consulted with the Egyptian government."
Christie's said it would reveal details of the new owner later.
Protesters gathered outside Christie's before the sale said they wanted the statue to be returned to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.
Sue Edwards, from the Save Sekhemka Action Group, who travelled from Northampton to the auction, said: "This is the darkest cultural day in the town's history.
"The local authority has made a huge mistake but we will continue our fight.

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