About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman by Zeynep Çelik

By Zeynep Çelik

Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and worldwide rivalries; energy struggles; assertions of nationwide and cultural identities; and cross-cultural exchanges, cooperation, abuses, and misunderstandings—all with the underlying part of monetary achieve. certainly, “who owns antiquity?” is a contentious query in lots of of today’s foreign conflicts.

About Antiquities deals an interdisciplinary examine of the connection among archaeology and empire-building round the flip of the 20th century. beginning at Istanbul and concentrating on antiquities from the Ottoman territories, Zeynep Çelik examines the preferred discourse surrounding claims to the earlier in London, Paris, Berlin, and manhattan. She compares and contrasts the stories of 2 museums—Istanbul’s Imperial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that aspired to emulate ecu collections and achieve the status and gear of possessing the cloth fragments of historic background. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the advanced interactions between individuals—Westerners, Ottoman determination makers and officers, and native laborers—and their competing stakes in antiquities from such mythical websites as Ephesus, Pergamon, and Babylon.

Recovering views which have been misplaced in histories of archaeology, relatively these of the excavation workers whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities offers vital ancient context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.

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By this date, the School of Fine Arts had been in existence for three decades. Inaugurated in 1882 and housed in special premises within the museum precinct, it was dedicated to art education, specifically painting, engraving, sculpture, and architecture. 12 It is not only the physical growth of the museum and the investments made in it that testify to its special status as a major Ottoman institution. Accounts from the time reveal the significance of the museum in the cultural consciousness. 14 The rumors that had reached Pierpont Morgan hence had no basis.

The Louvre Museum, lodged in its enormous palace, was created as a result of the French Revolution. Opened in 1793 as the centralized art collection of the French nation, it was built of the royal art collections and those appropriated from the various palaces, churches, and monasteries after the revolution. 4). Nevertheless, immense and imposing in its academic architecture, it is one of the most outstanding monuments of Paris and a key feature of the urban image, due to its long façade visible from the River Seine and along the rue de Rivoli and as the vista of the Tuileries Garden.

6 Salomon Reinach’s sentiments were shared by some Americans—and with great passion. An article published in Boston five years after Reinach’s “Vandalisme,” and penned by archaeologist James Theodore Bent, started with praise for the extraordinary qualities of Osman Hamdi and concluded with his much-­resented obstinacy about keeping the antiquities at home. 8 Not everybody agreed. In an article on the newly discovered Sidon sarcophagi, T. Hayter Lewis of the Athenaeum Club offered another perspective by framing the debate around keeping the monuments in their original location or transporting them to the museum in Istanbul.

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