Skip to main content

Burns Night Greetings


Looting Matters sends good wishes to its readers for Burns Night.

This raises an issue. Is there a museum that celebrates the cultures of the British Isles? The British Museum is an encyclopedic museum for world cultures. Is there a case for displaying archaeological material found in Scotland in (say) London?

Or should objects found north of the border be displayed in Edinburgh ... or Glasgow ... or Inverness ... or Stornoway.

So should the Lewis Chessmen be returned to Scotland? And if so, where should they be displayed? And what if they belong, at least in cultural terms, to Scandinavia?

There is something to discuss after consuming the "Great chieftain o' the puddin-race". (LM celebrated last week.)

Image
Isleornsay sunset © David Gill.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

DR.KWAME OPOKU said…
The British Museum, above all,a British institution that is intended to serve the British public whose taxes support that gargantuan institution. It is true that under Macgregor, some are even beginning to forget that this museum is more British than most institutions in London. Attempts by MacGregor to present the museum as a world or universal museum, which it is not, should not deceive anyone that it is an institution founded by an Act of the British Parliament. Universal or world institutions are not founded by national acts of a particular State. Repetitions by MacGregor that London is the centre of world cultural affairs should not mean that other parts of the world, including Scotland, are excluded from the mandate of the British Museum. Contradictions about what the British Museum is for will increase in due course when MacGregor and his supporters begin to tell more unconvincing stories about the artefacts in that museum. Scotsmen and Scotswomen as well as Scottish culture are clearly not excluded from the mandate of a museum that pretends to serve the whole world.

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.