Tag Archives: Age of Enlightenment

today’s birthday Olympe de Gouges (1748)


Olympe de Gouges (1748)

Born Marie Gouze, de Gouges was a French author whose feminist writings during the French Revolution demanded the same rights for French women that French men were demanding. In 1791, alarmed that the new constitution did not address woman’s suffrage, she wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, challenging the practice of male authority and the notion of male-female inequality. Why was she executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror? More… Discuss

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Relic Looters Caught Red-Handed Near Dead Sea Site


Relic Looters Caught Red-Handed Near Dead Sea Site

A group of thieves in Israel was recently caught while leaving a site known as the “Cave of Skulls,” not far from where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. This area still contains many artifacts—such as tools, shoes, and papyrus documents—from Jewish rebels who hid there in the days of the Roman Empire. The dry desert climate has kept many of these relics intact, and they are often sold for high prices on the black market. This most recent band of thieves nearly made off with a 2,000-year-old comb used to remove hair lice before becoming the first group in decades to be caught in the act. More… Discuss

this pressed: BBC News – Elgin Marbles: British Museum loans statue to Russia


The British Museum has loaned one of the Elgin Marbles statues to Russia.

The British Museum has loaned one of the Elgin Marbles statues to Russia.

A headless depiction of the river god Ilissos will go on display in St Petersburg‘s State Hermitage Museum until mid-January.

It is one of a number of relics acquired by Lord Elgin in Athens in the early 19th Century now known collectively as the Elgin Marbles.

Ownership of the artefacts, once part of the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple, is disputed by Greece.

It maintains that Lord Elgin removed them illegally while the country was under Turkish occupation as part of the Ottoman Empire.

The items have remained in the British Museum ever since.

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“Start Quote

The greatest things in the world should be… shared and enjoyed by as many people in as many countries as possible”

Neil McGregor Director, British Museum

The museum director, Neil McGregor, said: “The British Museum is a museum of the world, for the world and nothing demonstrates this more than the loan of a Parthenon sculpture to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg to celebrate its 250th anniversary.”

In a blog for the museum’s website, he wrote that the British Museum had opened its doors in 1759 and the Hermitage just five years later – making them “almost twins… the first great museums of the European Enlightenment“.

The British Museum was today “the most generous lender in the world”, he said, “making a reality of the Enlightenment ideal that the greatest things in the world should be seen and studied, shared and enjoyed by as many people in as many countries as possible”.

“The trustees have always believed that such loans must continue between museums in spite of political disagreements between governments.”

He added: “When our colleagues at the Hermitage asked if we might also make an important loan to celebrate their 250th anniversary, the Trustees immediately answered yes.

“And no loan could more fittingly mark the long friendship of our two houses, or the period of their founding, than a sculpture from the Parthenon.”

via BBC News – Elgin Marbles: British Museum loans statue to Russia.