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 component of monetary achieve. certainly, “who owns antiquity?” is a contentious query in lots of of today’s overseas conflicts.
About Antiquities bargains an interdisciplinary examine 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 ny. 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 historical 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 have been misplaced in histories of archaeology, relatively these of the excavation workers whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities offers very important old 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
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.
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.
62 The New York Times described the building as “unpretentious . . and . . ”63 The growth of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the next three decades was phenomenal. Theodore Weston designed the first addition to the south as a wing that was one and a half times larger than the original building; it was inaugurated on December 18, 1888. Several months prior to the opening, on June 15, 1888, the legislature had already authorized the appropriation by the city of funds for further extension of the building.
About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire by Zeynep Çelik