Campaigners demand for Britain to return Easter Island statue

Chilean filmmakers are campaigning for the return of a mystical Easter Island statue in the latest restitution bid launched against the British Museum.

The campaigners allege that the London moai as it is known locally was removed by explorers from the remote Chilean island in the 19th century and are urging the Chilean government to formally demand its return. Paula Rosetti, the producer of a new documentary film about the Easter Island statues, told Agence France-Presse that with the help of the film’s director, Leo Pakarati, she has collected over 500 signatures for a petition calling for the restitution of the statue.  Continue reading

MPs hope to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece

MPs have introduced a parliamentary bill on the 200th anniversary of the purchase of the Parthenon Marbles by the British Museum, which would see their return to Greece.

Introduced by Liberal Democrat Mark Williams on Monday (11 July), the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Bill 2016-17 provides for “the transfer of ownership and return to Greece of the artefacts known as the Parthenon Sculptures, or Elgin Marbles, purchased by Parliament in 1816”. Continue reading

Google opens door for virtual visitors at the British Museum

The British Museum gave new meaning to the phrase ‘armchair traveller’ yesterday when it flung open its virtual doors to the world through a partnership with Google.

In one of the biggest projects embarked on by the Google Cultural Institute, nearly 5,000 of the Museum’s works have been digitised to allow cyber visitors to enjoy a virtual tour of its world-famous corridors. This has been made possible through Google’s Street View technology and the Museum is the largest indoor space to have been captured using it.   Continue reading

UK rejects Greece’s appeal to negotiate the return of the ever-controversial Elgin marbles

At the end of last month the British Museum and the UK Government formally declined UNESCO’s request to enter into mediation on the subject of transferring the Parthenon marbles back to Greece. Removed by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon temple in Athens in the 1800s, the marbles were sold to the British Museum in 1816 and have remained there ever since. The sculptures date from 447-432 BC, and are divided between London and a purpose built museum in Athens.  Continue reading

Calls for Indigenous Australian artefacts in British Museum to be returned

The British Museum’s decision to loan rare aboriginal artefacts to the National Museum of Australia has sparked accusations of cultural insensitivity and threats of legal action from indigenous community leaders in Australia. The objects are to be included in an exhibition, Encounters, which set to open at the British Museum in April before touring to Australia six months later. Continue reading