About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman by Zeynep Çelik PDF

By Zeynep Çelik

ISBN-10: 1477310193

ISBN-13: 9781477310199

Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and international rivalries; strength 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 overseas conflicts.

About Antiquities deals an interdisciplinary learn 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 long island. 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 tool of possessing the fabric fragments of historic historical past. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the complex interactions between individuals—Westerners, Ottoman selection makers and officers, and native laborers—and their competing stakes in antiquities from such mythical websites as Ephesus, Pergamon, and Babylon.

Recovering views which were misplaced in histories of archaeology, fairly these of the excavation employees whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities presents very important old context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.

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Diverging and Intersecting Missions The Metropolitan Museum of Art has its origins in the New York Historical Society, whose Executive Committee decided “to formulate a plan to establish a museum and art gallery for the public in Central Park” on August 4, 1860. ”36 The public, democratic, and practical nature of the new institution was reiterated in statement after statement. The charter enacted on April 13, 1870, defined a broad agenda, which consisted of “encouraging and developing the study of fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, .

The Metropolitan was rich and hungry, and supported by private wealthy patrons who stood ready to acquire whatever was available at the market. 16 In contrast, the Imperial Museum’s existence was anchored in the Ottoman state. Relying entirely on funds from the state budget, it did not Beginnings: The Nineteenth-Century Museum ◆ 17 have comparable revenues to the Metropolitan’s but was rich in its collections and, given the extent of the imperial territory and the legal measures to prevent the antiquities from leaving the country, looked ahead for continuous future growth.

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.

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About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire by Zeynep Çelik


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