STUDENT PAGE

OBJECTIVES

  • To bring historical knowledge to a present day problem
  • To understand the concept of "ethics" as it exists today and what was considered ethical in the past
  • To research international law
  • To explore a single case study
  • To learn about the value in history of art and artifacts

THE PROCESS

STEP ONE

  • Form teams and select a case to investigate from those in the list.
  • Read introductory materials and state the problem. Look at the suggested questions that each group will answer.
  • Discuss the expectations of each participant

STEP TWO:

  • Decide on the role of each member of the group.
  • Review the tasks of each person.
  • Discuss expectations for final presentation. Create evaluation rubric.
  • Pass out name tags (HISTORIAN, ILLUSTRATOR, MUSEUM CURATOR, LAWYER)
  • Go over individual questions and make certain each person understands the task.

STEP THREE:

Each group member begins work on his or her part of the problem

STEP FOUR:

The group reconvenes, discusses what each member has found and/or produced and plans the final presentation to the "Court of Public Opinion."

STEP FIVE:

PRESENTATION TIME!

STEP SIX:

The "Court of Public Opinion" evaluates the presentations


LEARNING ADVICE

Do not confine your research to the Internet. There are valuable resources in books and other media about these works of art and about the history surrounding the case.

TEAM ASSIGNMENTS WITH RESOURCES

    1. KohiNoor Diamond - Originally Punjabi, but now one of the British Royal Crown Jewels

      Resources - Royal Crown Jewels and India/Pakistan

      • A version of the story of the history of the Korinoor diamond which now is one of the crown jewels of the Queen of England
        http://www.indian-express.com/ie/daily/20000630/ied30057.html
      • KohiNoor History
        http://www.time.com/time/magazine/1997/int/971013/diamond.html

    2. The Elgin Marbles - Originally Greek, but now in the British Museum

    3. Greek Jewelry - dug from Greek burial ground then in hands of NY dealer

      Resources - Greek Jewelry /NY art dealer

    4. Cypriot Mosaics - From Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus, recently purchased by American art dealer

      Resources - Government of Cyprus vs American Art Dealer

      • Appeal of Decision in US court about return of Cypriot Mosaic from French and US Art dealers

    5. Benin Bronzes - Taken from Nigeria during colonial period and now in Glasgow

    6. Degas Painting - Previously owned by a Jewish family, taken by Nazis, now in Germany

      Resources - Family of Jewish couple and an American private collector

      • A chilling tale of Nazi war loot, a murdered Jewish couple and a small Degas pastel currently owned by a prominent American collector
        http://www.artnet.com/magazine_pre2000/news/tully/tully8-30-96.asp

    7. AnkorWat - Being taken apart in small pieces and pirated out of the country

    8. Peruvian Antiquities

      Resources -

    9. Priam's Gold Collection - from Troy via Germany to Russia

      From the ancient city of Troy to become the spoils of WWII

    10. American Indian Art - in private collections

ROLES IN EACH TEAM

  • Historian - person to compile the facts surrounding the case
    • QUESTIONS TO ASK
      • Who are the stakeholders? Who is claiming to own the objects and why?
      • What is the position of each?
      • What were the circumstances under which the artifacts changed ownership in the first place?
      • What code of ethics applied at the time? Today?
      • Where did it come from?
      • Where did it go?
      • Where is it now?
      • Who has access to viewing or experiencing the art or artifact?
  • Illustrator to create a drawing or model of the item and a map
    • QUESTIONS TO ASK
      • What is this work of art?
      • Where did it come from?
      • Where did it go?
      • Where is it now?
  • Museum Curator/Appraiser - to discover the fact about the artwork itself
    • QUESTIONS TO ASK
      • What is this work of art?
      • Why is it of interest to the parties involved?
      • Why is it of value to anyone else?
      • Who has access to it now?
  • Lawyer - to research the law
    • QUESTIONS TO ASK
      • Who are the stakeholders? Who is claiming to own the objects?
      • What law applies?
      • What/who gives the legal right to possession of the object(s)?

EVALUATION

Your grade will be based on your group participation and on the final presentation of the group. The following is a suggested rubric for evaluation

The class will develop a rubric based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of the introduction and statement of the issue.
  • Scope and depth of the information provided.
  • Use of primary resources (quotations, visuals, documents, etc.)
  • Restatement of the issues.
  • Persuasiveness of position on the issue.
  • Effective oral presentation.
  • Seriousness of the approach to the subject.
  • Positive interaction with others in your group during research and preparation

REFLECTION

What have you learned about ethics, history, the law and the world of art as you participated in this project? Is there a remedy for the misdeeds of history?

CONCLUSION

This is a problem that is not going to go away. Your generation will be left to consider the following questions

  • Is there a moral difference between spoils of war and art acquired through corruption, intimidation or simple theft?
  • When and why do the ancient stories of history determine the present fate of an artwork?
  • Is an important work of art the property of the people of the world or an individual group?