Thursday, April 6, 2017

Let’s do a Brexit deal with the Parthenon marbles

Geoffrey Robertson ('Let’s do a Brexit deal with the Parthenon marbles' Guardian Tuesday 4 April 2017) suggests that gestures involving the enhancement of Europe’s cultural heritage may have a role to play in ensuring a modicum of success in Brexit negotiations:
The most important symbols of Europe’s cultural heritage are the Parthenon marbles. Half of them are in the new Acropolis Museum, while the other half, ripped off the Parthenon by a Scottish diplomat, sit in a British Museum gallery [...] There is no more significant cultural heritage than the Parthenon marbles, so the negotiators on both sides are bound to take their reunification into account. They are, of course, priceless, and a UK offer to return them should be accepted in return for major concessions [...] a willingness to surrender Elgin’s ill-gotten gains will win goodwill as well as concessions. Britain is leaving Europe, so it should leave Europe with its marbles. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Mohenjo Daro Dancing Girl

Muhammad Majid Bashir, 'The dancing girl in distress' Pakistan Today, January 29, 2017
The dancing girl, excavated in the Hargreaves area of Mohenjo Daro in 1926 by Ernest Mackay, is currently displayed at National Museum in New Delhi. Pakistan’s demand for its return bases itself on the belief that it was taken from Pakistan, 60 years ago, on the request of the National Arts Council in Delhi, for an exhibition from the Lahore Museum, but was never returned. The statue forms an integral part of Pakistan’s national heritage as a prehistoric cultural object, and its return to Pakistan is vital. [...] Due to the lack of certainty as to the events and circumstances that led to the dancing girl’s situation in India; an appeal to the government should be made to request UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation to take into consideration this matter for the unharmed and peaceful return of the dancing girl to its home.
Another version of events, however, "suggests the statue was taken to Delhi before Partition by Mortimer Wheeler" (halid, Haroon (26 October 2016). "Should Pakistan get the dancing girl from Mohenjo-Daro back?". Huffington Post; Mansoor, Hasan (11 October 2016). "Pakistan needs to do homework for Dancing Girl's return". Dawn Oct 11, 2016).