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 overseas conflicts.
About Antiquities bargains an interdisciplinary learn of the connection among archaeology and empire-building round the flip of the 20 th century. beginning at Istanbul and targeting antiquities from the Ottoman territories, Zeynep Çelik examines the preferred discourse surrounding claims to the earlier in London, Paris, Berlin, and ny. She compares and contrasts the stories 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 fabric fragments of old background. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the advanced interactions between individuals—Westerners, Ottoman selection 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, quite these of the excavation workers whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities presents very important ancient 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
Inili Köşk; 2. The old section; 3. The new section; and 4. The section that has been built most recently. (Servet-i Fünun [Year 13] 26, no. 2 The physical growth of the museum, in accord with the ever-increasing numbers of objects, pointed to the significance of the institution. 3 It was no secret that the construction of the new wings had necessitated endless struggles due to the scarcity of state finances, giving some rationale to the rumors that reached J. P. 2; see also plates 1 and 2). The later extensions were made possible after persistent and systematic pressure from the museum administration, which justified its demands by pointing to the “day-by-day” increase of the collection.
10 The Imperial Museum’s newly built library. Books are being placed on the shelves. 12). Secluded in the palace gardens, it did not announce its presence to the public and did not draw random passersby unaware of its existence and, unlike many other nineteenth-century institutional buildings, did not make a contribution to the urban image. Writing in 1910 in Servet-i Fünun, Mehmed Vahid noted that its exceptionally quiet and isolated surroundings were not common to museums. He saw this as a positive trait.
George Smith, on a mission from the British Museum and working with permission to excavate in Nimrud and Nineveh, encoun- tered the new law during his expedition. 1 In an essay dating from 1883, and on the eve of Osman Hamdi’s planned changes to the 1874 law, Salomon Reinach voiced a strong opinion on the shifting Ottoman positions toward antiquities, in effect echoing a view commonly shared by Western scholars. ” According to Reinach, the Ottoman laws were not fair to European researchers; the Ottoman state did not have the means to afford the preservation and maintenance of the antiquities, besides not having any interest in them; and the “Turkish race” had its own “national art,” which had nothing to do with the Greco-Roman past.