Universal Museum Concept & Debate at the Global London Colloquy June 19, 2012
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Universal Museum Concept & Debate at the Global London Colloquy June 19, 2012

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Universal Museum Concept & Debate at the Global London Colloquy June 19, 2012 PR Newswire LONDON, June 11, 2012 LONDON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The concept of the Universal Museum is at the heart of current debates about cultural property and

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Universal Museum Concept & Debate at the
Global London Colloquy June 19, 2012
PR Newswire
LONDON, June 11, 2012
LONDON
,
June 11, 2012
/PRNewswire/ --
The concept of the Universal Museum is at the heart of current debates about
cultural property and nowhere more so than in the case of the Parthenon
Marbles being held by the British Museum - arguably the definitive example of a
'Universal Museum'. It is a subject that will be examined at the an international
colloquy on
"The Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles"
to be held in
London
19 & 20 June, to register please visit http://www.parthenonuk.com
As the start of the London Olympics approaches, pressure is mounting on the
British Museum to reunify the Parthenon Marbles in what is universally
acknowledged as their rightful home - the new Acropolis Museum in
Athens
,
which opened in 2009.
Greece's
acute economic plight has merely amplified
the need for a cultural gesture that many believe would have an immeasurable
impact in kindling a sense of optimism and hope among the Greek people.
Amongst the distinguished speakers at the
London
colloquy is Dr Tom Flynn,
who will sketch a brief history of the concept of the Universal Museum and will
survey its current controversial status in relation to the repatriation of objects,
and particularly to the case of the Parthenon Marbles. His talk will interrogate
the function of these vast encyclopaedic collections in an increasingly
'globalised' world.
Most universal museums are struggling to respond to developing nations
seeking to recover the material evidence of their past, much of which was
appropriated by western powers during the imperial age. A stock response
from western museum directors is to call for the establishment of more
'Universal' museums in developing nations. Is this a realistic aspiration or a
strategy designed to deflect attention from a historical imbalance in the
custodianship of cultural property? What is to be done?
Dr Tom Flynn will argue that instead of opening the notional 'floodgates' to
more requests for return, the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles by the
British Museum would light a beacon for a new era in global museum co-
operation and cultural diplomacy. Such a gesture would reveal the 'Universal
Museum' not as a
retardataire
institution looking back to the eighteenth-
century European Enlightenment, but as a visionary agent of humanitarian
change in the twenty-first century.
Marlen Godwin
Tel +44(0)1780-481689
info@parthenonuk.com