Thursday 25 March 2021

P. Sapph. Obbink: A Publisher's Retraction

Brill has published a statement indicating a retraction on their published study of P. Sapph. Obbink [statement]. They cite Michael Sampson's work that has challenged the collecting history (the so-called 'provenance') of the papyrus. Have publishers realised, rather late in the day, that there are ethical and intellectual issues relating to the publication of material that has limited information about its origins?

Where does this leave the publication (by a major university press) of texts allegedly derived from "clandestine operations" at Selinous on Sicily? Incidentally, will the museum currently holding these texts be returning the rest of the dossier to Italy? (One text has already been returned.)

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Saturday 13 March 2021

Parthenon marbles: British Prime Minister makes his position clear

Parthenon frieze in the British Museum © David Gill
The architectural sculptures from the Parthenon, part of the World Heritage Site of the Athenian Acropolis, have been part of an exchange instigated by the British Prime Minister. 

In an interview on Friday 12 March 2021, Boris Johnson stated ("Greek culture minister challenges British PM’s claims on Parthenon sculptures", 12 March 2021):
“the UK government has a firm longstanding position on the sculptures which is that they were legally acquired by Lord Elgin under the appropriate laws of the time and have been legally owned by the British Museum’s Trustees since their acquisition.”
The central issue is about whether these stunning sculptures should be displayed in Bloomsbury, or be placed within line of site of the building on which they were once an integral part of the sculptural scheme. The intention of the original sculptors was to integrate them within the decorative programme of a single building.

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The Stern Collection in New York: Cycladic or Cycladicising?

Courtesy of Christos Tsirogiannis There appears to be excitement about the display of 161 Cycladicising objects at New York's Metropolit...