By Zeynep Çelik
Antiquities were pawns in empire-building and worldwide 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 manhattan. She compares and contrasts the stories of 2 museums—Istanbul’s Imperial Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—that aspired to emulate eu collections and achieve the status and tool of possessing the cloth fragments of historical background. Going past associations, Çelik additionally unravels the complex interactions between individuals—Westerners, Ottoman determination 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 workers whose voices have by no means been heard, About Antiquities presents vital historic context for present controversies surrounding nation-building and the possession of the past.
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Additional resources for About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire
50 It was not only the Western press that attributed the creation of the Imperial Museum to one man, Osman Hamdi. 51 A couple of years later, he was applauded for his “love of duty . . 52 Osman Hamdi’s personal investment, commitment, and passion for the museum have an unprecedented place in the history of great public museums. 54 Carrying the idiosyncrasy of Ottoman modernity, the Imperial Museum during its early years seemed to cater to foreign scholars, among whom Osman Hamdi circulated comfortably.
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. 11 The Imperial Museum, view of the North Wing, with Çinili Köşk to the left. (İÜMK 90518-0002) Istanbul” to the west and south of the museum complex, in the outer gardens of Topkapı Palace. Within a year, the entrepreneurial mayor of Istanbul, Cemil Pasha (Dr. 74 Located to the south of the Golden Horn, in the historic peninsula, the park targeted a population different from that attracted by Taksim and Tepebaşı Parks in Pera, the first public parks in the city, dating from the 1860s.
The 64-meter-long new structure across from the Çinili Köşk owed its existence to the discovery of the Sidon sarcophagi in 1887, which could not fit into the historic building. 67 The comments were repeated in the Turkish press: “The halls are large and full of light. 68 As spacious as the museum was, the acquisition of the impressive “friezes” found during an excavation in the Manisa region necessitated a significant extension, which added 32 meters to the north of the earlier building before turning to the west to create a wing of 64 meters.
About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire by Zeynep Çelik