Sunday, February 24, 2013

Who owns history, Mr. Cameron?

Op-Ed from India on Koh-i-noor diamond by "Who owns history, Mr. Cameron?"
The world has changed dramatically since the days of Queen Victoria. South Asia cannot be denied of its rich heritage because of its colonial past. Britain with its present status does not own history nor is it capable of defending its history. In all fairness, let Britain understand its own limitations now.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

British PM Cameron Rejects "Returnism"

Disgraceful. "Cameron rules out return of Parthenon marbles " Ekathimerini February 21, 2013
British Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece. Speaking from India, where he is on an official visit, on Thursday the Tory leader turned down requests for the return of the Koh-i-noor diamond to Britain’s former colony saying he did not believe in “returnism.” “It is the same question with the Elgin marbles,” [...] “The right answer is for the British Museum and other cultural institutions to do exactly what they do, which is to link up with other institutions around the world to make sure that the things which we have and look after so well are properly shared with people around the world,” Cameron said.
The British leader might at least have the decency to call them the Parthenon Marbles, which is what they are.

Vignette: Britain in pirate bandanna

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What the other artefacts think about the ones that get returned

South Korea Might not give Stolen Buddhas back to Japan

The two controversial statues
Two Buddhist statues stolen from Japanese temples in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, and found in South Korea might not be returned. The government is first intending to investigate how the statues came into Japan’s possession in the first place. The statues were recovered on January 29 and the South Korean police said they were detaining a member of a theft ring. Local clergy believe that the statues are of Korean origin.
The “Kanzeon Bosatsu Zazo” which belongs to the Kannonji Temple was designated a cultural property by the Nagasaki Prefectural Government. A document dated 1330 (Goryeo Dynasty) was discovered inside the statue and included the name of a temple in Korea. The other statue is called “Dozo Nyorai Ryuzo”and was stolen from the Kaijin Shrine also in Tsushima. [...] The Chosun Ilbo newspaper published the contradicting opinions of academics on this matter. One said the statues may have been plundered by the “wako” or medieval Japanese pirates. Another said that the statues were probably part of the bilateral trade between the two countries at that time, meaning it could have been sold or donated to Japan.
Ida Torres, 'Stolen Buddha statues found in South Korea may not be returned', Japan Daily Press, February 13, 2013