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Sale of the Sekhemka Statue Currently in Northampton Museum
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Tougher rules could be imposed on all museums after Northampton’s Sekhemka sale" (Northamptons Chronicle, 14.08.2014)

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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:11 pm    Post subject: Next : THE TREASURE OF HARAGEH Reply with quote

The case "Sekhemka" is not yet complete...

"UK campaigners request Egyptian help to restore ancient statue to public view" (Ahram Online from London, 07.09.2014)

And then there is the next...

Bonhams : "THE TREASURE OF HARAGEH - An Important Egyptian Tomb Group from Harageh (Lot 160)"

A dam break?!?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meanwhile, there is a statement from The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) concerning the auction...

"AIA Statement on Recent Auction Activity" (September 11, 2014)
Quote:
The AIA has learned with the deepest concern that the AIA St. Louis Society proposes to auction certain antiquities in its possession. The St. Louis Society has a long history within the AIA, but, at the same time, is a registered non-profit independent of the national AIA. The national office of the AIA was not consulted prior to this decision and only became aware of the pending auction when an AIA member reported that the antiquities were being offered on an auction house website. We are urgently investigating this matter and are working to find a solution that conforms to our firmly expressed ethical position concerning the curation of ancient artifacts for the public good.

The Archaeological Institute of America
656 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215
617-353-9361 (office)

Lets hope more than just words... As when the auction of the Sekhemka`s statue came in public. Liar

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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a quick overview, a summary of the case "Sekhemka" - compact, clear and informative: "Northampton Sekhemka Statue" .

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Additional information...

Engelbach / Gunn : Harageh (1929) and Robert S. Bianchi : From a Tomb at Haragah to St. Louis, Missouri. - In: Egyptian Archeology - EA 43. - 2013. - S. 15 - 16.

Here is, unfortunately, the sharpness of the scann from low quality, and thus adapts maybe the setting of Dr. Bianchi in this matter (?) : Him is expressly thanked on the part of the auction house "... for his assistance in cataloging this lot ... ". Evil or Very Mad

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The St. Louis Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) seems to cultivate its very own interpretation of the statutes for longer :

"An Egyptian Limestone Double-Sided Relief Fragment for Nefertiti"
(New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, Reign of Akhenaten, circa 1353-1336 B.C.)
Quote:
"... Provenance : Claude Harkins Collection, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, acquired in the early 1970s. Archaeological Institute of America in St Louis, received from the Egyptian Exploration Society in the 1920s. The block was excavated during the 1922 season of the Egyptian Exploration Society under the direction of Sir Leonard Woolley along with numerous other fragments from the inner room of Akhenaten's River Temple. The block is mostly likely part of a wall, the inscriptions on either side. ..."

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neseret
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sekhemka sale: Northampton Museum facing 'disciplinary'

A council that sold an ancient statue of an Egyptian priest for nearly £16m is to face a disciplinary session of the Museums Association.

Northampton Borough Council must explain the reasons for the sale of the 4,000-year-old Sekhemka statue.

It could face a further loss of funding at the meeting on 1 October.

The council said the Arts Council had also withdrawn access to funding and it would respond to the Museums Association when this was resolved.

<...>

Sharon Heal, head of policy at the Museums Association, said: "We are genuinely concerned some local authorities could raise finance by disposing of parts of their collections by sale."

The association said it had a range of sanctions, such as suspending membership and taking away accreditation, which could mean losing funding.

"A summit of other funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council, would also be called later in the year," Ms Heal said.


Not at all surprising, this news, but I do hope the Arts Council and Museums Association do set proper and enforceable penalties. Like this thread has noted, once you allow such sales, without repercussions, it opens the flood gates to other museums to divest themselves of objects in their collections by sale, all in the name of "development funding."

This type of misuse of collections flies in the face of what museums are all about - they are receptacles for exhibits of cultural objects for the education and benefit of the public, who funds them. To take objects and sell them to "renovate" or enlarge space of the building is a violation of the public trust that these objects would be kept for their enjoyment and understanding.

As local museums have shown, all you need is a large room to show your items: you don't need high tech, or beautiful architectural monuments to do this. Some of the most interesting museums I've seen in the world are basically large barns of space - it is the OBJECTS that make them fascinating.

My .
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having read the BBC report I must say that I am struck by the attitude of Northamptonshire Council.

'The council said: "We are waiting to hear from Arts Council England and once we have considered their response we will comment further on how we intend to respond to the Museums Association."'

What have they got to say other than "Guilty" when it is put to them that they drove a coach and horses through the rules governing the disposal of items in their collection.

It would seem that their most likely response will be either a two fingered salute or a sarcastic version of "La la la, we don't care."

Personally I hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council throw the book at this bunch of philistines. As Voltaire said "Pour encourager les autres.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not the first rather unsavory antiquities dealing Lord Northampton has been involved with. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevso_Treasure
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While not strictly on point, also indications that museums are not the only violators of public trust:

Cheltenham church officials 'sold painting without permission'

Quote:

Church officials were "stupid" and their conduct "dismal" when they sold a painting at auction for £20,000 without diocesan permission, an investigation has found.

<...>

The 19th Century Madonna and Child by Franz Ittenbach was sold by Emmanuel Church in Cheltenham last October.

<...>It was sold to a London art dealer by Chorley's auctioneers at Prinknash Abbey near Gloucester, in October 2013.

Following the investigation, retrospective permission to sell the painting, which was given to the church in about 1949, was granted.

It means the £20,000, which had been held in a trust by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) while an investigation took place, has now been freed up to be used by the parish.

The investigation found Ms Rodwell [the vicar] was unaware she needed a "faculty" from the diocesan chancellor that would have permitted her to sell church property.

The report states: "The conduct of the priest in charge and the church wardens in this matter has... been dismal.

<...>

As a result of the ruling, auction houses and antique dealers across the UK have been warned not to accept anything from a church unless they are sure it may be legally sold.


Now, authority to sell off church property definitely has a hierarchical structure, which this vicar (now left from the church in question) did not attempt to use.

However, I think the analogy with the Sekhemka statue and the requirements for sale under the Art Council/Museum Association authority is apt here.

<Sigh> Brick wall
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Sekhemka statue still in UK awaiting possible export license" (Ahram Online in London , Wednesday 24 Sep 2014)
Quote:
" ... The new owner of the statue needs to apply for an export license to take it abroad. ... According to export licensing procedures, certain cultural objects more than 50 years old and valued above specified financial thresholds require an individual licence for export out of the United Kingdom, whether on a permanent or temporary basis. ... SSAG [Save Sekhemka Action Group], supported by nine societies and organisations, is fighting to block any possible attempt to export the statue, saying it is a “unique and wonderful antique artefact for the UK.” ... “We are sure the license has not been issued yet. We are keeping our eye on it,” Loe said, pledging not give up till the statue is resorted to Northampton Museum for public view. ..."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:12 pm    Post subject: The Loss of Antiquities from Public Collections Reply with quote

"The Loss of Antiquities from Public Collections" (PDF, 230 kB)

Statement by Dr Alice Stevenson, UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, and Dr Chris Naunton, the Egypt Exploration Society, London, 26 September 2014 :
Quote:
This Thursday 2 October 2014, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) St Louis Society intends to sell Egyptian antiquities at the London auctioneers Bonhams. We condemn this sale in the strongest possible terms.

This material was excavated in 1914 by the British School of Archaeology in Egypt (BSAE) which was established by Flinders Petrie and whose legacy is now administered by UCL. Export was permitted from Egypt to London by the Egyptian authorities under the terms of the contemporary excavation licence, and these particular objects were subsequently sent to the USA on the condition that they went to a public collection. The AIA St Louis Society, an independent not-for-profit organization, received the items in exchange for their financial contribution to the excavations of the BSAE. The regulations of the BSAE stipulate quite explicitly that any antiquities granted to it by the Egyptian authorities were to be distributed to “public museums”. These objects were presented by the AIA St Louis Society to the St Louis Art Museum as a “permanent loan” in this spirit in 1914–15. They were subsequently transferred to the Washington University in St Louis in the late 1980s/early 1990s, only to be removed by the AIA St Louis Society in 2012. ..."

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Museums Association (MA) barred Northampton Museums Reply with quote

"MA Bars Northampton Museums Service For A Minimum Of Five Years" (Geraldine Kendall, 01.10.2014)
Council ruled to have breached code of ethics over Sekhemka sale
Quote:
"The Museums Association (MA) has barred Northampton Museums Service from membership for at least five years following a disciplinary hearing of the MA ethics committee today. The disciplinary panel ruled that the service, which is run by Northampton Borough Council, had breached the MA’s code of ethics by selling the ancient Egyptian statue Sekhemka from the collection of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. ..."

The MA’s statement on Northampton in full (PDF)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news, "THE TREASURE OF HARAGEH" was withdrawn from the auction.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... and sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York :

"Auction of Ancient Egyptian Relics Averted" (ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, ABC NEWS, ST. LOUIS - Oct 3, 2014)

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