Angkor’s ‘modern history’ with France reveals the politics of art

via Euronews, 07 May 2018: An interview with Dr Stephen Murphy, a personal friend and one of the curators of the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore about the ongoing Angkor exhibition.

The Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore has decided to unveil this extraordinary story with its latest exhibit — and in an interview with Euronews.

Source: Angkor’s ‘modern history’ with France reveals the politics of art

Angkor Events at the Asian Civilisations Museum

In conjunction with the exhibition, Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City that is currently on at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, there are a number of associated events upcoming in May and June:

Splendour of Khmer art

via Straits Times, 09 April 2018: Article is behind a paywall

Arts News -In 1931, the French government built a life-sized replica of Angkor Wat in Paris to show off its interest in Khmer art and the-then colony of Indochina.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Splendour of Khmer art, Arts News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Bronze goddess statue returned to India

The Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore has officially handed the 11th century bronze statue of Uma to India, after it was identified as stolen during the investigation of antiquities dealer Subash Kapoor.

Returned bronze statue of Uma. Source: Straits Times 20151106
Returned bronze statue of Uma. Source: Straits Times 20151106

Asian Civilisations Museum hands back sculpture identified as stolen to India
Straits Times, 06 November 2015

Asian Civilisations Museum returns 11th century sculpture to India
Today, 07 November 2015

The Asian Civilisations Museum has returned to the Indian authorities an 11th-century bronze sculpture in its possesion, which has been identified as stolen from India.

The museum had last month informed the Archaeological Survey of India and the High Commission of India to Singapore of its plan to return the religious icon depicting the Hindu goddess Uma Parameshwari.

The sculpture is among hundreds of stolen cultural artefacts amounting to over $148 million in an ongoing international art smuggling case. They are believed to have been looted and sold to museums by disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, 65, who is awaiting trial in India on charges of theft and smuggling.

Full story here and here.

Asian Civilisations Museum to return statue to India

After a formal request by the government of India, the Asian Civilisations Museum will return a bronze statue of Uma Parameshvari, which was identified as stolen in the recent high-profile antiquities looting case of Subhash Kapoor.

Statue of Uma Parameshvari to be returned by the Asian Civilisations Museum. Source: Straits Times 20151020
Statue of Uma Parameshvari to be returned by the Asian Civilisations Museum. Source: Straits Times 20151020

Asian Civilisations Museum to return ‘stolen’ 11th-century artefact to India
The Straits Times, 20 October 2015

Asian Civilisations Museum to return sculpture identified as stolen from India
Channel NewsAsia, 19 October 2015

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) said yesterday it would return a sculpture identified as stolen, upon the request of the Indian government.

‘Stolen’ artefact puts murky issues in spotlight
The Straits Times, 23 October 2015

The 11th-century bronze sculpture depicting Hindu goddess Uma Parameshvari is among hundreds of stolen cultural artefacts amounting to over $148 million in an ongoing international art smuggling case. They are believed to have been looted and sold to museums by disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, 65, who is awaiting trial in India on charges of theft and smuggling.

In a press statement, the ACM said it had bought the sculpture from Kapoor’s now-defunct gallery Art of the Past for US$650,000 (S$900,000) in 2007.

Full story here and here.

Public Lecture: Ancient Shipwrecks in Asian Waters

The Asian Civilisations Museum is hosting a talk next Friday on ancient shipwrecks in Asian waters.

Ancient Shipwrecks in Asian Waters
Patricia Bjaaland Welch
Asian Civilisations Museum
27 March 2015, 7pm

ancient shipwrecks flyer

Lack of object history cast shadow on many museums’ collections

A special report about high-profile returns from museums to India; topical because it mentions Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum.

Statue of Nataraja, returned to India from Australia. Source: The Straits Times 20150120
Statue of Nataraja, returned to India from Australia. Source: The Straits Times 20150120

Museums and the plunder of antiquities
Straits Times, 20 January 2015
Continue reading “Lack of object history cast shadow on many museums’ collections”

Public Lecture: Buddhism and religious practices in Burma and Thailand

Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk at the Asian Civilisations Museum by Dr Alexandra Green.

Power and Protection: Buddhism and religious practices in Burma and Thailand
Alexandra Green, British Museum
Date: 05 August 2014
Time: 1900 hrs
Venue: Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore

Power and Protection by Alexandra Green
Power and Protection by Alexandra Green

Public Lecture: Daily Life in Myanmar’s Ancient Cities

Another talk for readers in Singapore, this time by Bon Hudson on the Pyu Cities.

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Daily Life in Myanmar’s Ancient Cities
25 July 2014 (Friday), 7 to 8.30pm
Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum

Speaker:
Bob Hudson
Archaeology Department
University of Sydney

Three huge brick-walled cities in Myanmar are currently going through the UNESCO World Heritage nomination process. They date to around AD 150, many centuries earlier than the Myanmar capital, Bagan. Many fascinating finds have been unearthed during excavations at the sites.

This presentation builds a picture of those long-lost societies through the material goods they left behind. Objects from Brahman and Buddhist agriculturalists and traders wary of intruders from the spirit world, and the treasures enshrined in Buddhist monuments tell us much about daily lives and religious aspirations. Modern-day treasure hunters, who until recently panned illegally for gold in what are now ricefields, and dug for beads in ancient cemeteries, will also be discussed. That they were still finding valuable items in the 21st century is further proof of the wealth and creativity of the ancient inhabitants.

More details here.