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Displaying items by tag: artifacts

He was carved nearly 1,000 years ago from the wood of a giant cryptomeria, a type of cypress native to Japan. Since then, he’s been worshiped as a god, survived a devastating fire, endured a lengthy ocean voyage and delighted generations of Rhode Island art lovers.

Still, there’s a good chance the majestic “Buddha Dainichi Nyorai” — better known as the RISD Museum’s big wooden Buddha — has never had it so good.

Indeed, the massive carving and dozens of other objects have been given a thorough primping and pampering as part of a two-year, $2.7-million renovation of the museum’s top-floor Radeke Building galleries. The new galleries, which house everything from Asian prints and ceramics to ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary fashions and textiles, open to the public Friday.

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Two Chicago museums are partnering to bring an exhibit about ancient Greece to the city.

The Field Museum and National Hellenic Museum announced "The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great" will premiere at the Field Museum in November 2015. The exhibit will feature more than 500 pieces and artifacts from nearly two dozen Greek museums.

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You can take a close-up look at artifacts, some of which are over 2,000 years old, in the Shards of the Past: Pre-Columbian Art from the Frost Art Museum exhibition, on display from May 7 through August 31.

The exhibition features 26 works…figures, vessels, bowls, and plates…from Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Central America, selected from the Frost Art Museum’s permanent collection. Pre-Columbian refers to the time in the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers. Cultures and civilizations were already flourishing, thriving and evolving, while remaining virtually isolated from other parts of the world. After the arrival of the explorers, we see the collapse of these civilizations and subsequent destruction of their temples and social structures along with a wealth of objects and ritual artifacts. Some of the relics from these cultures are intact for viewers to admire and study; others were ritually broken, and some were destroyed by the passage of time. Most of the surviving objects were found in graves, the remnants of offerings to the dead.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:43

Egypt Fights Back Against Looters

The closest comparison is Swiss cheese: holes in vast swaths of land where looters, armed with machine guns and bulldozers, take to ancient archaeological sites in search of international paydays. To the untrained eye, these holes, visible in satellite images, seem haphazard. But to experts, these deep pits, spanning acres of land, are the work of sophisticated traffickers.

It’s exactly the kind of looting that worries Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, Egypt’s minister of state for antiquities.

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The Israel Antiquities Authority announced that police have arrested a group of suspects accused of stealing ancient Jewish burial caskets from a cave near Jerusalem. The thieves were caught with 11 decorative stone ossuaries, or ancient coffins, that the Jewish people used for burial in the Second Temple period, 2,000 years ago. Some of the ossuaries still contain the bones of the deceased.

The suspects, from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, were arrested on Friday, March 28, as they met prospective Jewish clients at the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem. The ossuaries, which are covered in Hebrew inscriptions and traces of paint, were seized by investigators with the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery.

The Israel Antiquities Authority released a statement saying, “There is no doubt that the ossuaries were recently looted from a magnificent burial cave in Jerusalem.” Officials did not reveal how many suspects were arrested or what charges they may face. 

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 18:21

Officials Return Looted Artifacts to India

Federal officials have returned three stolen antiquities estimated to be worth around $1.5 million to the Indian Consulate in New York. The United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations has been working with India to recover dozens of stolen artifacts in recent years.

All three of the works date from the 11th or 12th century and include a sandstone sculpture that had been stolen from an Indian temple in 2009. The 350-pound work, which depicts the deities Vishnu and Lakshmi, had been listed as one of the Interpol’s top 10 stolen artworks. The other recovered artifacts include a 400-pound figurative sculpture and a black sandstone sculpture depicting the male deity Bodhisattva.

A ceremony was held on Tuesday, January 14 at the Consulate.

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In November 2015, Chicago’s Field Museum will debut ‘The Greeks,’ a major exhibition of Greek antiquities organized in collaboration with the National Hellenistic Museum, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Over 500 artifacts will travel to Chicago from 22 Greek museums making the show the most comprehensive exhibition about Ancient Greece to visit North America in nearly 10 years.

Works on view will include a celebrated bust of Alexander the Great, statues of Archaic-period Kouroi, and jewelry from famous tombs. ‘The Greeks’ will go on view in Ontario before traveling to Chicago and then moving to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Thursday, 02 January 2014 23:36

Artifacts Stolen from Egyptian Museum

Approximately 100 artifacts, some dating back to the time of the pharaohs, are missing from the Aswan Museum on Elephantine Island in southern Egypt. On Wednesday, January 1, the Ministry of Antiquities announced that 96 works, mostly small figurines and beads, were missing from the museum’s store and that a lock on the inner door had been broken. The disappearance is a first for the museum.

The Aswan Museum opened to the public in 1912 and features Nubian artifacts including utensils, weapons, pottery and mummies.

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Thursday, 12 December 2013 18:57

Hopi Masks Sold at Auction to be Returned to Tribes

The U.S.-based Annenberg Foundation purchased 21 sacred Hopi masks at an auction in Paris on Monday, December 9. The Foundation acquired the works, which are worn by dancers during religious ceremonies and considered to be living beings, solely for the purpose of returning them to their rightful owner.

A number of groups, including the U.S. embassy, had attempted to block Monday’s sale. Advocacy group Survival International challenged the auction in court on behalf of the Hopi tribe, but the case was dismissed by a judge who ruled the sale legal in France. The sale of sacred Indian artifacts has been outlawed in the U.S. since 1990 but the law does not extend to overseas transactions. Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, director of the California-based foundation, decided to buy the masks after Survival International’s lawsuit failed.

The Annenberg Foundation helps fund non-profit organizations across the world. 

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Friday, 01 November 2013 18:54

Exhibition of Western Art to Open in Atlanta

On November 3, 2013 the High Museum of Art in Atlanta will present the exhibition Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Through more than 250 paintings, sculptures, photographs and Native American artifacts, the show will explore the changing notion of the American West, which evolved considerably between 1830 and 1930. The exhibition also addresses the varied and oftentimes conflicting representations of Native Americans, which ranged from portrayals of fierce warriors to menacing enemies.

The works included in Go West! Are on loan from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a museum and cultural center in Cody, Wyoming. Highlights include a bronze sculpture by Frederic Remington, illustrations by N.C. Wyeth created during his time as a ranch-hand, and Annie Oakley’s rifle.

Go West! will be on view at the High Museum through April 3, 2014.

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