Cultural Crisis between British Museum and Turkish Government

Business UK Magazine vol 12.

Cultural Crisis between British Museum and Turkish Government

 All those who have visited the British Museum, they might have asked this question: Is British Museum really ‘British’? Comparatively speaking, in the museum, ancients of Asian, African, European and even American origins seem to lure visitors more than British cultural heritages do.

In January 2012, the Turkish Government demanded some of Turkish ancients from British Museum. British Museum declared that they would not return their homeland the basalt stone, known as Samsat Stele and the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos that have been held for 80 years. 30 Turkish lawyers have made written statements to apply to European Court of Human Rights unless the museum the Mausoleum Halikarnassos is returned.

According to Daily Mail, ‘The British Museum had asked for 35 items for the exhibition Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam, but although Turkish museums were agreeable to the loans, the ministry of culture blocked them, leaving the British Museum to find alternative objects at short notice. The Victoria & Albert is facing a similar problem over its planned exhibition, The Ottomans, which needs loans from Turkey – scheduled for 2014, then delayed a year, it is now on hold.’ In this case, if Turkey is committed to joining the European Union, the government needs to support cultural and artistic projects establishing connection between museums. In the increasingly complex world of the arts and its field, there is a growing need for cultural intermediaries to intervene to aid in the act of exposition.

Otherwise, archaeologists are concerned about conservation and management of ancients in Turkey. The role of the art as a pioneer of bonds between politics movements are perhaps most strongly associated with the news from the Guardian: ‘’ Archaeologists working in Turkey point to what they say is a sharp contradiction between the government’s zealous attempts to retrieve artifacts, and its apparent negligence towards valuable excavation sites that are the talk of the archaeological world. Turkey is gearing itself up for the opening in 2023 – the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic – of the 2.5-hectare Museum of Civilisations in Ankara, which is due to showcase many of Turkey’s best cultural treasures.’’

Merve Deniz

2013

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