By Zeynep Çelik
Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and international rivalries; strength 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 overseas conflicts.
About Antiquities bargains an interdisciplinary research 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 previous in London, Paris, Berlin, and manhattan. She compares and contrasts the studies of 2 museums—Istanbul’s Imperial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that aspired to emulate eu collections and achieve the status and tool of possessing the fabric fragments of old heritage. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the complex 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 were misplaced in histories of archaeology, really these of the excavation workers whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities presents very important historic context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.
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Additional info for About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire
Other nineteenth-century additions were the Reading Room (1857) and the White Wing on the southeast side (1879). Two public squares, Russell Square on the northeast and Bedford Square on the southwest, accommodated the visitors, the latter allowing for an unobstructed view of one façade of the museum. 5; see also plate 3). Berlin’s experiment in creating its central museums followed a different path than those of Paris and London. 6). The Museum Island 28 ◆ Ab out Ant iquiti e s Figure 1. 5 The British Museum, site plan showing the urban context.
Next came, in “an unpretending edifice,” the Pergamon Museum (1897–1901) by Fritz Wolff, which housed fragments from excavations undertaken by the Royal Museums in the western Anatolian Hellenistic towns of Pergamon (1878–1886), Magnesia (1891–1893), and Priene (1895–1899). The museum was named after the first site, from which the Altar of Zeus, complete with its “Great Frieze,” was carried to Berlin; Wolff’s structure was demolished in 1908 to be replaced by a more ornate neoclassical Pergamon Museum, designed by Alfred Messel.
38 The Metropolitan Museum of Art was not the only American institution that strived to appeal to large masses. In fact, the democratic agenda seems to have turned into the motto of American museums. On March 30, 1880, the opening day of the new building in Central Park, Joseph H. ”41 The notion of the museum as a democratic institution was emphasized again in 1909 in a monograph on the Metropolitan. ”42 The Metropolitan had a radically different administrative system than the European museums.