By Zeynep Çelik
Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and international rivalries; energy struggles; assertions of nationwide and cultural identities; and cross-cultural exchanges, cooperation, abuses, and misunderstandings—all with the underlying portion of monetary achieve. certainly, “who owns antiquity?” is a contentious query in lots of of today’s foreign conflicts.
About Antiquities bargains an interdisciplinary learn of the connection among archaeology and empire-building round the flip of the 20th century. beginning at Istanbul and targeting antiquities from the Ottoman territories, Zeynep Çelik examines the preferred discourse surrounding claims to the previous in London, Paris, Berlin, and long island. She compares and contrasts the reviews of 2 museums—Istanbul’s Imperial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that aspired to emulate eu collections and achieve the status and gear of possessing the cloth fragments of historic historical past. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the complex interactions between individuals—Westerners, Ottoman choice makers and officers, and native laborers—and their competing stakes in antiquities from such mythical websites as Ephesus, Pergamon, and Babylon.
Recovering views which were misplaced in histories of archaeology, rather these of the excavation employees whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities offers very important ancient context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.
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Extra resources for About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire
7 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, site plan showing the urban context. With its main façade on Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan occupies a unique location in the city. (Baedeker, The United States, 1904) The groundbreaking for the new building happened in 1874, the construction was completed in 1879, and the permanent Metropolitan Museum opened its doors to the public in March 1880. The museum was housed in two temporary locations prior to this date. The first temporary quarters, leased in 1871, were in the Dodworth Building, 681 Fifth Avenue (between 53rd and 54th Streets).
He did not quarrel with the idea of a museum in the Ottoman capital under the guidance of Osman Hamdi, even though the better alternative would have been to leave the antiquities in their original sites—a position that went back to the debates at the time of the moving of the Elgin Marbles. ”9 He thus made a distinction between the “civilized” Ottomans in Istanbul and the primitive populations in the eastern provinces of the empire in a manner that would most likely have agreed with Osman Hamdi’s own sentiments.
3 The Louvre, site plan showing the urban context. Occupying a central location in Paris, the Louvre enjoys high visibility from all sides. The Tuileries Garden to the west establishes a convenient relationship between a major cultural public institution and a public park. (Baedeker, Paris et ses environs, 1900) Figure 1. 4 The Louvre, general view, 1851; photograph by Édouard Baltus. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs) Quai François Mitterand), and the Tuileries Garden to the west ease the museum from the urban fabric, providing different kinds of public spaces around it.