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UNESCO Expert Meeting: Protection & Promotion of Museums & Collections
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 11 – 14 July 2012
The Director-General of UNESCO, in consultation with the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM), is convening an international experts meeting on the protection and promotion of museums and collections, which will be held from 11 to 13 July 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The aim of the meeting is to conduct an assessment of the range of possible modalities for the protection and promotion of museums and collections in times of war and in times of peace on the basis of the 1954 UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The assessment report will then be submitted to the Executive Board of UNESCO for examination at its 190th session in October 2012.
“This meeting will provide a unique global platform for knowledge sharing, reflection and debate on the protection and promotion of museums and collections worldwide,” said Christian Manhart, Chief of the UNESCO Museums Section. Approximately 50 experts from museums, museum associations, universities and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations around the world will participate in this experts meeting.
Photo by Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
By Roberta Smith from The New York Times
Please. Someone, everyone, do something to save the American Folk Art Museum from dissolution and dispersal. Or at least slow down the process, so that all options can be thoroughly considered. New York’s contemporary artists, and New York as a whole, need the creative energy of this stubborn, single-minded little institution, its outstanding exhibition program and its wondrous collection, an unparalleled mixture of classic American folk art and 20th-century outsider geniuses.
At the moment it almost seems that the museum’s trustees can’t wait to end their flawed stewardship of this great but historically fragile institution.
From the Huffington Post
Greek police recovered a 17th century painting by Flemish master Pieter Paul Rubens stolen from a museum in Belgium a decade ago, authorities said Thursday.Two people, both Greeks, were arrested in the operation, he said. Neither the police nor the Culture Ministry would give further information on the raid, the painting or which Belgian museum it was stolen from, saying investigations were still ongoing into the case.
The artwork, dating from 1618 and stolen in 2001, was “a particularly important painting,” the ministry said. The artwork had been examined by experts from the ministry and determined to be genuine and “of priceless value,” Greek police spokesman Panagiotis Papapetropoulos said.
Pool photo by Timothy A. Clary
By Anemona Hartocollis from The New York Times
They clutched slips of paper bearing letters and numbers, trying to navigate a strange new map created by computer algorithm that was designed to place people next to other people whom, in life, they had cared about. The visitors looked hopeful, dazed, afraid.
One family made a beeline for Mark Louis Rosenberg, Tablet 7 of the north pool, or N-7 for short. The three teenage Berry brothers searched for their father, David Shelby Berry, at S-36.
By Hal Foster from The London Review of Books
There is a hangar at JFK Airport – Hangar 17 – where, until recently, about 1200 pieces of steel and other objects from the World Trade Center site were warehoused. In the frenetic days after the attacks, these remains were selected as tokens of 9/11, so that they might be dispersed to memorials around the US, foremost among them the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero, which opens on the tenth anniversary of the event. The clean-up of the site was as torturous – it lasted nine months – as the sorting at Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island was meticulous. In all, 1.8 million tons of rubble and debris were removed, of which the objects at the hangar comprise only a fraction of one per cent.
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To View the Gallery….
Backlog in Baghdad: Staff struggle to finish Iraq museum inventory, at current rate project could take a century
By Martin Bailey from The Art Newspaper
The staff of Iraq’s National Museum are struggling to create an inventory of its war-torn collection, so far documenting 20,000 antiquities, less than 10% of its approximately 240,000-strong holdings. These figures have been revealed by Lamia al-Gailani Werr, a London-based scholar who used to work at the museum and recently returned from a visit to Baghdad. At this rate it will take the museum nearly a century to catch up on the backlog .Planning the digitised inventory began after the coalition invasion of 2003, when the Baghdad museum was looted. Half of the 15,000 stolen items have yet to be recovered.
By Rowan Moore from guardian.co.uk, The Observer
It’s part of a world heritage site, but the showy Museum of Liverpool fails to complement the city’s proud past. How can this have happened? How could so many positive words – “regeneration”, “vision”, “culture” – plus so much public and private funding, plus so much scrutiny by bodies such as the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, have led to what now stands on Liverpool’s waterfront? How could so many noble titles – Unesco world heritage site, capital of culture, the “Three Graces” – have been bestowed on what is, to use a sophisticated critical term, a godawful mess?
To Read More….
Photograph by Roland Halbe and Fernando Alda
From Dezeen Magazine
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos have completed an underground museum in Spain with weathered steel towers and cylinders that emerge above a grass lawn. The Interactive Museum of the History of Lugo exhibits objects, images and films that illustrate the historic Roman city and province. Visitors enter the building via a spiralling staircase that descends into a submerged circular courtyard. This is the third museum by Spanish architects Nieto Sobejano featured on Dezeen this summer, following one with a perforated aluminium skin and another in a ruined castle.
The building site, which until not long ago housed industrial structures- is located in a position relatively displaced from the historic centre of Lugo.
Photo from Getideaka
By Riazat Butt from the guardian.co.uk
The British Museum is to stage a major exhibition dedicated to the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam will bring together historic and contemporary objects – including manuscripts, textiles, archaeological items and photography – to explore the experience and importance of the pilgrimage.
The exhibition, opening in January, will also feature the work of contemporary Saudi artists such as Ahmed Mater, who has created an installation with magnets and iron filings to symbolise hundreds of thousands of pilgrims circumambulating the Ka’bah, the black granite cube in Mecca thought to be built by Abraham and his son Ishmael.