Skip to main content

Nefertiti and the Parthenon Marbles

I am grateful to my sharp-eared colleague Chris Hall for drawing my attention to this interview.

Salima Ikram, American University in Cairo, and Tom Holland, were in conversation with John Humphrys of BBC Radio 4's "Today" programme earlier today [Monday, February 21, 2011: interview]. They discussed the limited looting in the Cairo Museum and were in agreement that the people of Egypt demonstrated that they cared about the protection of their antiquities.

Humphrys explored the issue of distributing significant finds across a number of museums around the world. They considered the issue of material from Afghanistan and drew attention to the forthcoming exhibition at the British Museum.

Salima Ikram was asked what she would like to see returned to Egypt and top of her list was the head of Nefertiti in Berlin. She was also concerned to see fragmentary pieces reunited. She also made it clear that she was not speaking in an official capacity.

Tom Holland seemed to hesitate over the question, and when pressed by Humphrys closed with the words, "I wouldn't say the Elgin marbles".

Image
© David Gill

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

Sardinian warrior from "old Swiss collection"

One of the Sardinian bronzes of a warrior was seized from an as yet unnamed Manahattan gallery. It appears to be the one that passed through the Royal-Athena Gallery: Art of the Ancient World 23 (2012) no. 71. The collecting history for that warrior suggests that it was acquired in 1990 from a private collection in Geneva.

Other clues suggested that the warrior has resided in a New York private collection.

The identity of the private collection in Geneva will no doubt be telling.

The warrior also features in this news story: Jennifer Peltz, "Looted statues, pottery returned to Italy after probe in NYC", ABC News May 25 2017.

Mithras relief from Tor Cervara

A fragmentary relief of Mithras was discovered in 1964 at Tor Cervara on the outskirts of Rome. It was acquired by the Museo Nazionale Romano.

A further fragment of the relief was acquired by the Badisches Landesmueum in Kalrsruhe in 1976. The source was an unstated Swiss dealer. This fragment has been reunited with the rest of the relief [press release].

Today a further fragment of the relief was reunited with the other pieces. This had been recovered during a raid in Sardinia.