By Zeynep Çelik

Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and worldwide rivalries; strength struggles; assertions of nationwide and cultural identities; and cross-cultural exchanges, cooperation, abuses, and misunderstandings—all with the underlying part of monetary achieve. certainly, “who owns antiquity?” is a contentious query in lots of of today’s foreign conflicts.

About Antiquities deals 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 previous in London, Paris, Berlin, and big apple. She compares and contrasts the reviews of 2 museums—Istanbul’s Imperial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that aspired to emulate ecu collections and achieve the status and gear of possessing the cloth fragments of old background. 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 have been misplaced in histories of archaeology, relatively these of the excavation employees whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities offers very important historic context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.

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8 Not everybody agreed. In an article on the newly discovered Sidon sarcophagi, T. Hayter Lewis of the Athenaeum Club offered another perspective by framing the debate around keeping the monuments in their original location or transporting them to the museum in Istanbul. 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.

Our opulence, . . ”56 By the 1820s, the Montagu House could not accommodate the collection, and in 1823 a new building was commissioned, to be designed by the architect Robert Smirke, whose classical revivalist style was also pursued by his brother, Sydney Smirke, who completed the building in 1852. 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.

1900– 1910. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs) appointed Edward Goold, a teacher at the Imperial High School (Galatasaray), as its first director. The collection grew significantly under Philipp Anton Déthier, its German second director, especially around eighty-­eight cases of antiquities from Cyprus, provoked by Cesnola’s acquisitions, which had ended up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As Hagia Eirene could no longer accommodate the much larger scope of the collection, it remained as the “military museum,” and in 1875 the antique works were moved to the nearby Çinili Köşk, also in the gardens of Topkapı Palace.

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