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jerryking : heritage   35

France urged to return museum artefacts to Africa
November 23, 2018 | Financial Times David Pilling, Africa Editor.

France should permanently return tens of thousands of cultural artefacts plundered from Africa during colonialism, according to a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron that could send tremors around the museums of Europe.

In the report, submitted to the French leader on Friday, the authors accused museums with large African collections — much of which was ransacked or purchased under duress — of being part of “a system of appropriation and alienation” that deprived Africans of the “spiritual nourishment that is the foundation of their humanity”.

....more than 90 per cent of the “material cultural legacy” of sub-Saharan Africa — including palace doors, thrones, carved heads and bronzes — was outside the continent. Europeans, it said, were straining to justify their continued possession of such treasure, while “Africans find themselves struggling to recover the thread of an interrupted memory”.

France alone, the report said, had at least 90,000 African objects, including from modern-day Chad, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Guinea. French collections also had artefacts from Ethiopia and the former British colonies of Ghana and Nigeria. Many items labelled as “gifts” were the spoils of war, it said.
colonialism  France  restitution  museums  Africa  sub-Saharan_Africa  Emmanuel_Macron  artifacts  repatriation  heritage  antiquities  art  art_history  collectibles  cultural_institutions 
november 2018 by jerryking
Thinking BIG: Danish architects have a radical vision to build a distinct condo community in Toronto - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
COPENHAGEN
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

The new condo will be hard to miss. It could be the strangest residential building ever constructed in Canada. Certainly, it will set an interesting example for new housing. While new condos and apartments are often faulted for being soulless, this promises to be a carefully detailed building, a distinctive place, and a village that contributes to the larger city.......the King Street project, by Westbank in partnership with Toronto office developers Allied Properties REIT. It was inspired by Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67, the legendary assemblage of prefab boxes on Montreal’s harbour.......Like Habitat, the King Street building is configured as a series of “mountains,” irregular stacks of boxes that each contain a home or a piece of one. The residences rise up, over and around four century-old brick buildings, which will all be retained entirely or in large part......They are eminently livable. This is typical of BIG’s work, which tends to juxtapose fantastic ambition with business savvy and technical expertise.......BIG, and their clients, were ready to do something more thoughtful, but had no interest in blending in. After much back-and-forth, they’ve settled on glass block as the building’s main cladding material.....The King Street project is also an ambitious experiment with urban design. There are basically two species of tower in Toronto: a mid-rise slab of six to 10 storeys, which steps back at the top; and a “tower-and-podium,” a model borrowed from Vancouver that combines a fat, squared-off base (or “podium”) with a tall, skinny residential tower.
architecture  Danish  heritage  King_Street  livability  property_development  thinking_big  Toronto  condominiums  soul-enriching  housing 
september 2018 by jerryking
Is Thomas Goode a sleeping giant of British retail?
August 31, 2018 | Financial Times | by Horatia Harrod.

200 year old Thomas Goode & Co is a homewares powerhouse.... Outfitted in morning suits, the staff — many of whom have worked at Thomas Goode for more than two decades — are solicitous and impeccably well-informed. There’s only one thing lacking. Customers....Johnny Sandelson, is the property entrepreneur who acquired the store for an undisclosed amount in July 2018. .....Sandelson has set himself the task of waking the company up — and it’s going to take more than just turning on the lights. What is required is a 21st-century overhaul....Thomas Goode sells more over the phone than it does online, for the simple reason it has no ecommerce platform. Some 40 per cent of its £5m in annual sales comes from special orders — a loyal client outfitting their new yacht or private jet — but oligarchs alone are unlikely to keep the business afloat....The plan, Sandelson says, is to democratise. “Fortnums did it, Smythson did it. Those great British brands reinvented themselves to become relevant to the affluent middle classes, but Thomas Goode didn’t.”.......Sandelson hopes that, in an age of experiential retail, the shop’s peerless service will entice a new generation of customers. He’s also eyeing up collaborations to reach those for whom the Thomas Goode name has little resonance.......Parts of the business that had lain dormant are to be revived, with an injection of £10m-£15m in investment. There’s a voluminous archive to be mined for designs, and production of tableware in the Thomas Goode name is being restarted at factories in Stoke-on-Trent......Sandelson is committed to a revival. “We’re unashamedly proud of our British heritage and our British brand,” he says. “To honour that, you have to be involved with a very high standard of manufacturing in Britain. There would be cheaper ways of going about things, but the British way stands for quality. Stoke-on-Trent has been producing beautiful plates for 200 years. So it works for us.”....Almost inevitably, the top floors of the South Audley Street flagship are to be turned into luxury flats. “Will we be able to afford a shop of this scale in the coming years?” says Sandelson. “I think the brand is bigger than the premises. I’m pursuing the dream on the basis that the building will be developed over time and we’ll hope to have a space within it.”
21st._century  brands  commercial_real_estate  entrepreneur  experiential_marketing  gift_ideas  heritage  history  homewares  London  luxury  middle_class  property_development  real_estate  retailers  restorations  revitalization  turnarounds  United_Kingdom  Victorian 
september 2018 by jerryking
New Book Erects Photographic Shrine to Apple - WSJ.com
October 3, 2013 | WSJ | By BETSY MCKAY.

New Book Erects Photographic Shrine to Apple
"Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation," documents every Apple product ever created, from the Apple I computer to the iPad mini
photography  books  Apple  gift_ideas  storytelling  organizational_culture  heritage  history 
october 2013 by jerryking
When terrorists destroy books - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Dec. 30 2012

The threat from Islamic extremists to the irreplaceable manuscripts and monuments of Timbuktu is one of several reasons why it is unfortunate that a military force authorized by the United Nations Security Council to recover northern Mali for the government of that country, based in Bamako, will not be ready until September, 2013.

Members of a group calling itself Ansar al-Din, allied to even worse factions such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, have already destroyed numerous monuments to Muslim holy men. The door of one 15th-century mosque has been deliberately wrecked. The extremists are Wahhabis, followers of an 18th-century movement, who believe that Sufism, a form of Islam with mystical elements, is a grave heresy and that the veneration of saints is polytheistic and idolatrous. Just such a destruction of shrines took place in the 20th century when the Saudi family conquered most of the Arabian peninsula....The UN World Heritage Committee has passed a resolution to set up an emergency fund to safeguard Mali’s cultural heritage. It would be fanciful to suggest that the responsibility-to-protect doctrine could be extended to old books. This legacy will survive only if the international community recognizes its strategic interest in restoring the Malian government’s power in the north.
antiquities  extremism  heritage  Wahhabism  Timbuktu  Mali  editorials 
january 2013 by jerryking
A harvest of history at East York's Topham Park - The Globe and Mail
Dave LeBlanc

Toronto — Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jun. 03 2010
Toronto  history  heritage  neighbourhoods  post-WWII  East_York 
november 2012 by jerryking
We are what we keep: Canada's archives are in crisis
April 23, 2005 | Globe & Mail | by Guy Vanderhaeghe.

Expensive environmental controls are necessary to preserve aging, brittle paper, and archival work is extremely labour-intensive: Archivists must pore over volumes of material, organize it and write users’ manuals so researchers can locate information. The federal government provides assistance to the Canadian Council of Archives to fund projects, train staff and co—ordinate programs. In 1992-93, this budget was roughly $2.8million, but by 1998-99 it had fallen to $1 .8-million. (If no cuts had been instituted and funding had kept pace with inflation, the CCA grant would now be $3.5-million.)
In terms of federal expenditure, this is a minuscule amount, and downright paltry when weighed against need. The operating budget of 51 per cent of this country's archives is $50,000 or less, and in a third of the archives 41 per cent of holdings remain unprocessed and therefore inaccessible. More alarming, archives report that annual rates of acquisition have increased 200 to 700 per cent since 1985. In little more than a year, all storage space will be exhausted....
Statistics are a bloodless affair, apt to bewilder rather than enlighten. What do these figures mean? Certainly they suggest that part of our heritage is in danger. Certainly they suggest that the federal government ought to play a larger role in helping archives, and in particular our smaller institutions, to collect, preserve, and make usable the raw stuff from which the narratives of this nation can be constructed. Archivists have a saying: "We are what we keep." What we do not keep now is likely to be forever lost, inducing historical amnesia.
crisis  archives  Canada  heritage  history  cultural_institutions  historical_amnesia  preservation 
august 2012 by jerryking
African Art Is Under Threat in Djenne-Djenno - NYTimes.com
August 2, 2012 | NYT | By HOLLAND COTTER.

Ethical battles surrounding the ownership of, and right to control and dispose of, art from the past rage on in Africa, as in other parts of the world....the wars over art as cultural property take many forms: material, political and ideological. On the surface the dynamics may seem clear cut, the good guys and bad guys easy to identify. In reality the conflicts are multifaceted, questions of innocence and guilt often — though not always — hard to nail down. In many accounts Africa is presented as the acted-upon party to the drama, the loser in the heritage fight, though such is not necessarily the case, and it certainly doesn’t have to be, and won’t be if we acknowledge Africa as the determining voice in every conversation...finding sculptures in situ, in their historical context...unauthorized trade in such art had been illegal since 1970, when Unesco drew up its Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. But the digging went on, and getting art out of the country — through porous borders, with a payment of bribes — was (and still is) easy. ...Certain archaeologists, the McIntoshes among them, were aghast at the ruinous plundering and took action. They were convinced that any Western attention paid to Malian antiquities increased the market value and encouraged looting. With this in mind they proposed an information blackout on any and all “orphaned“ Inland Niger Delta objects, meaning any that had not been scientifically excavated — most of those in circulation... The antiquities wars were not easy on dealers, collectors and museum administrators. Not only were their jobs threatened and acquisitive passions blocked, but they acquired unfortunate reputations. Once esteemed as cultural benefactors, they came to be seen, in some quarters, as hoarders and thieves.

Where does Africa itself stand in all of this? Is it merely the battleground on which science and commerce clash, a passive stretch of turf to be either righteously conserved or carved up and parceled out? Or is it — could it be — an active, gainful partner in cultural exchange?

It could. Art-alert countries like Nigeria and Mali have stockpiles of objects in storage. Selections of them could be leased out to Western institutions, or even swapped for temporary loans of Western art. The idea that Africa would not be receptive to such exchanges is wrong. It has fine museums (in Bamako, in Lagos), impressive private collections (one is documented in Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie’s superb book “Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art“), and at least a few sharp critics (check out Kwame Opoku at modernghana.com).

There’s no reason to think that concepts of art in Africa and the West — I use these generalities for convenience only — have to jibe. But clearly a sense of the complex value of patrimony is strong and can be pushed further. The time is long past due to be compiling comprehensive digital databases not just of art from Africa, but also of art that’s still there. Not only would this be an invaluable, promotional resource for international study, it would also be a lasting record of types of ephemeral art, or of things too fragile to move, or of objects that have, in the event of political instability, a good chance of being lost.
Africa  art  collectors  collectibles  Mali  ethics  museums  books  embargoes  contraband  archeological  dealerships  art_galleries  art_history  Nigeria  threats  Islamists  antiquities  Timbuktu  sub-Saharan_Africa  heritage  history  stockpiles 
august 2012 by jerryking
Who will preserve the past for future generations? - The Globe and Mail
J.L. Granatstein

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jun. 12 2012,

A national library is by definition national, the repository of the nation’s past and its treasures. It makes available the record of triumphs and failures, of glories and disasters, the sources for literature and history now and forever. But in Canada, for fear that the government be seen as elitist and Ottawa-centric, LAC’s priceless collection is to be broken up and dispersed.
libraries  literature  history  institutions  Canadian  archives  decentralization  heritage  J.L._Granatstein  preservation  digitalization 
june 2012 by jerryking
My Week as a Room-Service Waiter at the Ritz
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review | by Paul Hemp.
Ritz-Carlton provides a good example of how employee engagement supports
its core customer service strategy. Part of the commitment of
Ritz-Carlton employees can be traced to how the company leverages one of
its great Genuine Assets, the Ritz-Carlton heritage and traditions.
Ritz-Carlton also carefully selects the right people through an
assessment system that focuses on personal qualities and attitude
critical to the company's success, rigorous training and reinforcement
of the Ritz-Carlton principles of customer service and process focus,
use of a guest-recognition database, and empowerment of employees to
take action to resolve customer complaints. Ritz-Carlton's employee
engagement and strategic communications activities are highly aligned to
support its competency strategies in operations, innovation, and
branding.
HBR  luxury  hotels  customer_service  hiring  selectivity  employee_engagement  heritage  traditions  Ritz-Carlton  hospitality  the_right_people 
march 2010 by jerryking
FT.com / Management - The corporate memory-makers
January 11 2010 | Financial Times | By Alicia Clegg. From a
communications perspective, say enthusiasts, the combination of
technology and storytelling creates all kinds of possibilities for
businesses to bring their brands imaginatively to life as well as to
pass knowledge and skills from one generation of employees to the next.
Through the retelling of veterans’ memories, companies hope to build
stronger, more successful, cultures.
archives  business_archives  business_history  commemoration  corporate  heritage  historians  history  organizational_culture  storytelling 
january 2010 by jerryking
FT.com / Home UK / UK - A rummage in the corporate attic
July 24, 2008, Financial Times, pg. 10, article by Alicia
Clegg details how commemorative research can benefit a company
commercially with image and marketing. References Bruce Weindruch,
founder, of the History Factory, a consultancy offering "heritage
management services".
archives  branding  business_archives  commemoration  historians  history  heritage  organizational_culture  research  storytelling 
march 2009 by jerryking

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