Friday, October 7, 2016

Artifact complications

Almost all of the artifacts including items and statues that we have studied have been taken from their original land and are in some foreign museum. Some of these items were legally attained by donations to the museum, but the countries that the items originally came from want their historical items back. A few examples of such items that countries want returned are the Rosetta Stone, Chinese imperial treasures, and the Old Fisherman from Aphrodisias, which was from the Pergamon. Such artifacts as they range in their acquisition. For example, the Rosetta stone was discovered by French officers in Egypt, but later changed hands to the British when they defeated France in 1802. The Old Fisherman from Aphrodisias was bought for the museum at an art market, and therefore they do not think that it should be given back. Museums in general have no reason to give artifacts back, because they might have gotten them legally even though the people who owned the artifacts before might have attained them illegally. This creates a problem for countries that want to maintain their own historical pasts through items such as these.
 
The link to the article I used follows:
https://mic.com/articles/76321/9-priceless-artifacts-museums-should-return-to-their-home-countries#.43YXfSHMt

4 comments:

Dylan Bryan said...

I think Joseph brings up an interesting point. Ancient Greece is credited with great art and creativity; however, they do not own all of their history. As Greece declined to other powers, their art has been dispersed around the world. A lot of their art pieces today are located in England and Germany. It is not necessarily fair to Greece that these nations hold control of their art. A historic part of Greek culture has been misplaced. While it may showcase the art to more people at a more renowned museum, it is unjust for other countries to hold Greek art in their museums if the Greeks strongly desire it back. Greece deserves to be able to fully display their history and artistic culture the way they so choose.

Brooke Williamson said...

I really enjoyed studying about Pergamon. I especially liked learning about the Altar of Zeus which contains friezes depicting combat with the gods and Giants. These statues represent the significance of Greek mythology in society. Also, their styles differ greatly from those at the Parthenon. Whereas the Parthenon statues represent more serene; emotionless figures, the friezes contain more movement and facial expression of emotions. I thought this was a significant contrast.

Julia Scofield said...

Joseph's point about countries attempting to maintain their history is an important one. It reminds me of an article I recently read about a man who was gifted the 9/11 flag. The flag was originally stolen from ground zero and was gifted to him by a friend. He immediately went to the nearest fire station and left it as an anonymous donation. The flag is now in the 9/11 museum. Unlike many important greecian pieces of art, the flag was returned and can be honored.

Bailey Taylor said...

I agree with Joseph that the works should be returned to Greece. This is out of respect to Greece and the artists. The pieces should be displayed in their country of origin. I'm sure Greece would be proud to be able to display their iconic works of art in their own country.