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 component to monetary achieve. certainly, “who owns antiquity?” is a contentious query in lots of of today’s foreign conflicts.
About Antiquities deals 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 earlier in London, Paris, Berlin, and ny. She compares and contrasts the studies 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 background. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the advanced 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 vital old context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.
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Extra info for About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire
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. 72 The Imperial Museum’s accessibility took a new turn in 1913, with the opening of Gülhane (Sarayburnu) Park “for the benefit of the residents of Beginnings: The Nineteenth-Century Museum ◆ 37 Figure 1.
Occupying a central location in Paris, the Louvre enjoys high visibility from all sides. The Tuileries Garden to the west establishes a convenient relationship between a major cultural public institution and a public park. (Baedeker, Paris et ses environs, 1900) Figure 1. 4 The Louvre, general view, 1851; photograph by Édouard Baltus. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs) Quai François Mitterand), and the Tuileries Garden to the west ease the museum from the urban fabric, providing different kinds of public spaces around it.
30 The tenth annual report of the Council of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) reported the growing role of American archaeologists despite European skepticism. 31 Like the Turks, Americans were newcomers to the field. Often challenged by their European peers to prove their credentials, they learned to make the best of this position—as reflected in the support letters in response to J. R. Sitlington Sterrett’s plea to “Americans of great wealth and the great American institutions” for archaeological research in Asia Minor and Syria in 1911.