Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > New York City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-18-2008, 05:30 PM
 
101 posts, read 162,227 times
Reputation: 53

Advertisements

I must admit that this is a very grand and very comprehensive Art Museum, and is maintained very professionally, and is definitely "world class".

I went there with my parents when they were visiting New York, and paid the full ticket fares, which I realized later that it was not necessary. The ones I visited were:

1) Ancient Battle Armor from England

2) Classical paintings from Europe (both in the Middle Ages and Rennaissance), I saw the famous Van Gogh self portrait

3) The Chinese wing, with a mini garden (built by a museum in China and sent to the US as a gift), with some not-so-famous Chinese paintings.

4) The semi-outdoor hall, with big statues made by Reconnaissance sculptors like Michelangelo and Bernini.

However, most of its goods from the Chinese wing (the porcelains) were looted and stolen by the Western forces during the Opium War and the Boxer rebellion after the defeat of the Qing Dynasty. I admit that they were kept in very good condition, but this cannot excuse the barbaric act of the invasion of China and the looting of its historical artifacts. These artifacts belong to a Chinese museum, not an American one.

So from a scholastic point of view, I respect the Museum of maintaining the Chinese artifacts in good condition, but from a nationalist and a political view, I must condemn them, as imperialists, as invaders, as looters, as pillagers.

I wish I could go back in time, and meet the American and British and French and Austrian looters of these artifacts of my home country, and stand in front of their caravans, shout at them in the middle of the Gobi Desert: "Halt! Put down your lootings before you pass!"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-18-2008, 05:37 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 7,498,574 times
Reputation: 908
I feel the same way. It's so imperialistic and wrong-seeming today. I live in Boston now and the MFA has a magnificent Egyptian collection, and I feel it should all go back. You know some rich guy at the turn of the century organized some expedition and paid not enough for a culture's treasures. Or worse stole them.

And I'm of European ancestry....

Some pieces are going back, to Greece and Italy, mainly. Some of these other countries should stand up for their rights, too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2008, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Riverdale, Bronx, NY
138 posts, read 593,364 times
Reputation: 53
My roomate is a guard at the MET. i love it there. i like to brag to my artsy friends of how i've taken a nap in the modern wing before :P
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2008, 02:11 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,229 posts, read 16,235,990 times
Reputation: 26005
Most museums pieces are carefully donated by the international curators. Others are on loan for a certain amount of time. Others, like the Temple of Dendur, were given to The Met as a gift FOR being saved. Otherwise, it would have likely ended up in ruble.

I was there in late-Sept, and I am grateful for the awesome display that I had the fortune to see. Not only is it fascinating to be right there in front of such ancient pieces, it is also a VERY educational experience. They should be shared.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2008, 02:05 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 7,498,574 times
Reputation: 908
I wish it all were as nice and clean as Bluesbabe describes. But I'm afraid it's not true. Antiquities trading is not a fair game.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2008, 06:28 PM
 
101 posts, read 162,227 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesbabe View Post
Most museums pieces are carefully donated by the international curators. Others are on loan for a certain amount of time. Others, like the Temple of Dendur, were given to The Met as a gift FOR being saved. Otherwise, it would have likely ended up in ruble.

I was there in late-Sept, and I am grateful for the awesome display that I had the fortune to see. Not only is it fascinating to be right there in front of such ancient pieces, it is also a VERY educational experience. They should be shared.
This may be true for Western exhibits. I can tell you for 70% of the Chinese exhibits (paintings, porcelain) they are looted from Chinese palaces during the Boxer Rebellion. There's one famous piece that is not "looted":

In 1901, there was a young Chinese Taoist apprentice who was cleaning around the Mogao Caves in China, when he chanced upon a hidden room inside the cave, where thousands of Buddhist artifacts dating from 406 to 1002 CE. These included old paper scrolls in Chinese and many other languages, paintings on hemp, silk or paper, numerous damaged figurines of Buddhas, and other Buddhist paraphernalia. These things would be of immeasurable value to any archeologist. However, this young guy did not understand their value, and was asked by a Hungarian Archeologist Auriel Stein to sell it to him. He sold it in exchange for a Western made toy watch that Stein gave it to him and told him that the toy watch was priceless.

Later, Chinese archelogists questioned that young Taoist, and when they found out that he sold all of those scrolls to a foreigner, they cried onsite, and later two of them committed suicide for such a loss of national treasure


To this day, these scrolls remain in various Western museums. And that young Taoist is notorious to this day.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2008, 08:30 PM
 
3,225 posts, read 8,541,697 times
Reputation: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by saobi View Post
This may be true for Western exhibits. I can tell you for 70% of the Chinese exhibits (paintings, porcelain) they are looted from Chinese palaces during the Boxer Rebellion. There's one famous piece that is not "looted":

In 1901, there was a young Chinese Taoist apprentice who was cleaning around the Mogao Caves in China, when he chanced upon a hidden room inside the cave, where thousands of Buddhist artifacts dating from 406 to 1002 CE. These included old paper scrolls in Chinese and many other languages, paintings on hemp, silk or paper, numerous damaged figurines of Buddhas, and other Buddhist paraphernalia. These things would be of immeasurable value to any archeologist. However, this young guy did not understand their value, and was asked by a Hungarian Archeologist Auriel Stein to sell it to him. He sold it in exchange for a Western made toy watch that Stein gave it to him and told him that the toy watch was priceless.

Later, Chinese archelogists questioned that young Taoist, and when they found out that he sold all of those scrolls to a foreigner, they cried onsite, and later two of them committed suicide for such a loss of national treasure


To this day, these scrolls remain in various Western museums. And that young Taoist is notorious to this day.
Sometimes, it's impossible to completely undo the errors of the past and to restore individuals or objects to the status quo that existed before historical happenstances. It's a sad commentary and in no way justifies all the barbaric, criminal, unfair, cataclysmic events in human history.

Somehow we've got to find a way to admit the errors of the past, offer whatever measurable/affordable mechanism we can to ameliorate yesterday's misfortunes, and then move forward.

True, those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes. We must, however, remember that to dwell incessantly in the past is to ignore the future and its great potential to champion the good causes of today and tomorrow.

Museums contain great histories and treasures - some secured in honorable fashion and others by less noble methods. Nevertheless, they are there for us all to enjoy and to honor those cultures and societies which they represent.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2008, 08:38 PM
 
12,340 posts, read 26,015,727 times
Reputation: 10350
Looting and removing antiquities from their country of origin has occurred throughout history and even to this day. I have no idea which antiquities at the Met were originally looted or brought out of their country improperly.

But if I was so concerned about this issue that that's all I could think about upon visiting one of the great museums of the world, and I made the decision to go to the museum anyway...I would be sure to do my homework in advance to see that I could enter the museum for 25 cents as opposed to the $20 that Saobi paid.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2008, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Riverdale, Bronx, NY
138 posts, read 593,364 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henna View Post
I would be sure to do my homework in advance to see that I could enter the museum for 25 cents as opposed to the $20 that Saobi paid.
hehe thats the best advice ever, i'd never pay full proce to the met becuase you can get in for a penny donation, though if yuo love it have hav the money, next time fork over the $20, or become a member (i'll do that when i have moeny...eventually)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2008, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,229 posts, read 16,235,990 times
Reputation: 26005
Well, I donated $2, and that was with intention of going back again to see another section of the museum, which I never did.

I know this is slighty off topic, but is or is not the Natural History Museum on a donation system, too? Because when I went there I didn't see a sign anywhere mentioning this, although I read somewhere that it was. So I forked over my $, then the admission clerk thanked me for it (?).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > New York City
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:30 PM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top