Talk:National Maritime Museum
|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the National Maritime Museum article.|
|This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:|
- 1 Vandalism Alert
- 2 Neutral point of view
- 3 Request for comment
- 4 Third opinion
- 5 Self-reported provenance gaps
- 6 Ehrhard ? Who ?
- 7 Request for comment - follow up
- 8 Controversy
- 9 another comment
- 10 Bold
- 11 War trophy/Looted art
- 12 Confirmation
- 13 Wikipedia:Conflict of interest
- 14 WikiProject class rating
- 15 Area
- 16 The "most famous museum in the United Kingdom" claim
Paragraphs about the National Maritime Museum, especially about several pictures looted from Germany after WWII, have been deleted several times. The vandals generally do not provide reasons, references nor arguments. The section has proper references from The Telegraph, Bloomberg, and The Art Newspaper. If you have proper sources that contradict the references given above, then please provide them. I will put the article on my watchlist, revert vandalism and inform admin. The vandalism involves three acounts, all fresh and without further contributions to wikipedia. Okinawasan 18:18, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Neutral point of view
It has come to my attention that a paragraph of text relating to ‘looted art’ on the Wikipedia page about the National Maritime Museum is in dispute. As the Head of Digital Media at the National Maritime Museum, I have reviewed the content of this paragraph and would say that it does not conform to Wikipedia’s requirement for a neutral point of view. Within Wikipedia’s terms of reference, it is an attack on the National Maritime Museum, in the following ways:
- The section on ‘looted art’ has undue prominence on the entry for the National Maritime Museum, in terms of the relative word count, the use of a sub-head to create a whole section, and the position on the page.
- The final sentence of the section reads: 'The National Maritime Museum admitted in January 2007, that "the documentation at the NMM and the National Archives is not complete", according to spoliation guidelines, the pictures should be regarded as having been "wrongly taken".' It appears constructed to misquote the National Maritime Museum. The first phrase (“the documentation… is not complete”) does come from a statement issued by the National Maritime Museum and is a simple statement of ascertainable facts. The second – that ‘the pictures should be regarded as “wrongly taken”’ - does not come from the National Maritime Museum. By bringing these two quotations (the second being un-attributed in the body of the text) together into a single sentence, the author misrepresents the National Maritime Museum’s position and misleads the reader. Here Okinawasan is making an argument about what 'should' be done, rather than just presenting the facts.
- Okinawasan uses emotionally-loaded language, such as the word ‘loot’, which has a range of meanings and is here used to suggest wrong-doing on the part of the National Maritime Museum. The manner in which these paintings were acquired by the National Maritime Museum, from the Naval War Trophies Committee, was considered appropriate at the time, which was the immediate post World War Two period.
- All of the ‘looted art’ citations relate to a single article in the Art Newspaper and subsequent reporting of that article. No balancing information or opinions are offered. The National Maritime Museum is committed to the integrity of its collections, and has an active programme of research into the history and provenance of the collections. The Museum has also been an active participant in the National Museum Director’s Conference initiative to research the 1933-45 provenance of items in UK public collections. See: http://www.culturalpropertyadvice.gov.uk/spoliation_reports
Members of NMM staff have independently found and edited this entry, sometimes deleting the disputed section. I understand that this is not the correct Wikipedia process for handling disputes and so have outlined the Museum’s concerns above.
Fiona Romeo, Head of Digital Media at the National Maritime Museum
Foe 15:44, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Request for comment
- COMMENT: It seems to me ridiculous to conduct negotiations on "Looted art" on the pages of a public encyclopaedia. If a formal dispute is in progress, in the "Real World", then this might be noted briefly. If no legal or official process is being followed, then this section is entirely inappropriate in the article. I have no connection with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, although I visited once, many years ago and have found their library exceptionally helpful on the telephone. Vernon White . . . Talk 19:20, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
- Thank you for your comment and opinion. The looted artworks were already part of a formal investigation as documented by a 1965-66 Ministry of defense file in the UK National Archives. A formal investigation however is not relevant for an inclusion in Wikipedia. The General notability guidelines state, that a topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. Right now there are -seven- articles focusing on the artworks and model ship ... all of them are reliable sources - several articles from The Art Newspaper, Bloomberg, and the Telegraph. It is understandable, that some parties are not happy about the coverage - they failed however to provide any arguments, articles, publications, books or other reliable sources. So far the article has been vandalized several times: by editor Kate Winsall, EmmaNM, and Troglodyte1954 - all of them vandals, single purpose accounts and sockpuppets. They did not participate on the talk page, lied and said that the article "uses inaccurate material", failed to add -any- supporting arguments for their theories etc etc. The newest single purpose account Foeromeo even claims that i use "emotionally-loaded language" - the phrase "looted" however is several times in the articles and headlines. Foeromeo then lied and disputed that several articles are covering the subject matter. I truly hope, that Fiona Romeo is -not- the owner of that account - the track record of these accounts is obvious. Wikipedia is not meant to become a vehicle for marketing departments. Welcome to the new century.Okinawasan 11:28, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
- Lol. Thank you ... Okinawasan is happy to be Okinawasan but would like to contribute more to wikipedia. Please have a look at the Cultural Property Advice report as well ... the record of the National Maritime Museum is obvious, the single purpose accounts in wikipedia are transparent, and the vandalism shocking. But you are right, maybe it is time for another press article about the National Maritime Museum and its attempts to silence the free press and Wikipedia. Recent coverage about manipulation attempts by Scientology, Microsoft, Holocaust deniers, etc fit just fine. As for your NPOV request - I am still waiting for reliable sources that would support your arguments - so far you have -none-, no sources, no arguments. The paragraph is actually the best referenced paragraph of the entire article - and the paragraph will stay - until the day when we can add another article: "National Maritime Museum Returns Looted Artworks to Rightful Owners". I will be happy to add that article/reference myself - but considering the track record of the National Maritime Museum and the vandalism at wikipedia, im afraid this will not happen soon. Have a nice day. Smile.Okinawasan 14:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
- Added wikilink to existing article - I should have done it before.Okinawasan 17:29, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
- Why don't you talk direct to Fiona Romeo and work out with her what reference to the disputed works should be in this article (Userpage, left column "Email this user"). Can't you see that the paragraph is out of proportion, even if all you say is totally correct and legal? I'll see if I can find anything more about Carl Bergen, who painted in Cornwall, where I live. Looks like both Bergen and Salzman deserve English Wikipedia articles. Vernon White . . . Talk 18:01, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
- Simply because we have no proof that Foe is truly Fiona Romeo; a fresh Wikipedia account or a (potentially) faked email conversation are not sufficient for the referencing of a reliable source. If you believe otherwise please provide your reasons and point to the corresponding wikipedia policies. Allow me to make that clear: I will be happy to add any verifiable information representing -their- side (assuming for the sake of the argument that the account and association is not faked). I further wrote in another comment that I will personally (and gladly) add any reference I can find if the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich returns the stolen artworks looted by British soldiers to its rightful German owners. Have a nice Sunday.Okinawasan 08:40, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
- I am sorry to say that I have doubts about the existence of this organisation: "the Dr. Barnartz Historical Marine Institute in Cologne". Hans Willi Bernartz has a special collection of marine art at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven. Is that what you mean, please? Vernon White . . . Talk 21:45, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
- Dont be sorry, I generally share your concerns. I added the first citation for the fact request, but when it comes to the second the only thing I can say is that I was looking for the proper instititution or collection link before - and I still have doubts about the Cologne/Köln association - nevertheless - Wikipedia is not about -our- uncertainties or theories, but about proper and reliable sourcing. Bailey, who has proven to be pretty reliable with all his other statements and articles says in "How the London Maritime Museum rebuffed a German claim in 1965", that "The Dr Barnartz Historical Marine Institute in Cologne had contacted Prince Philip, then a National Maritime Museum Trustee, to help secure the return of ship models from Germany which had ended up at the NMM after the war." I believe we should add this tag then, delete the fact request - but add a few lines about our suspicions to the reference tag. I think its Bremerhaven - but as I said before - my/our theories are irrelevant. Im pretty sure the first 1965 claim is real though because of the lack of counter claims, notices and and general coverage by/from National Maritime Museum. We could even clarify it by writing: "According to an article in the ArtNews by Bailey ...". Thank you.Okinawasan 06:15, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
- I have the impression from googling around that Dr. Hanswilli B_e_rnhartz is, or was, an art dealer and collector, who shows/showed his collection at various venues around Germany. He has published a book on Marine Artists in his Collection (My German stumbles a lot). Perhaps in the 1960s, he had a position in a respectable academic institution in Koln (He is not in German Wikipedia). It would be good to have some exact details of the request for the paintings and contemporary information from NMM about its refusal. What was the MoD file/document to which Bailey refers? What was the status of Admiral Zenker's request, personal or official? Who made the third request and why? The whole thing looks to me like an "investigative journalism" spin. It would be good to have the NMM view, via Fiona Romeo. Could you politely communicate with her, please? If you do not feel able to do this, then I feel that the "Looted Art controversy" paragraph must be severely abbreviated an include the NMM viewpoint as expressed by Fona Romeo.Vernon White . . . Talk 10:51, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
- At the risk of repeating myself - although I share your concerns regarding the Dr. Barnartz Historical Marine Institute statement, it is properly referenced from a reliable source. Our theories, doubts, and the wild and unproven accusations of the editor claiming to be Fiona Romeo are IRRELEVANT. Wikipedia shall not serve as a convenient marketing vehicle for the hyped marketing speak of parties and institutions, especially when they have a track record of vandalism in wikipedia and looted art within their collections. The Wikipedia guidelines are clear and precise: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. 'Verifiable' in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or it may be removed." The references are verifiable, we have several articles published by reliable sources, and all relevant statements are properly sourced. So far there is -not- even a dispute: the self proclaimed single-purpose account Foe Fiona Romeo failed to satisfy these primitive rules - (s)he did not provide verifiable references, sources, articles or books from reliable sources. The sources can not consist of the conspiracy theories or the irrelevant marketing speak from editor Foe, but should come from a "reliable third-party publication". I find it symptomatic that the previous editors (according to Foe) from the National Maritime Museum Greenwich relied on the supression of the freedom of speech and vandalized/deleted inconvenient facts instead of trying to -add- valuable content to other paragraphs and articles of Wikipedia. The multiple single-purpose spam accounts and the looted art within their collection provide a pretty good picture of the mindset of the National Maritime Museum in London. If editor Foe is truly Fiona Romeo - which (again) is irrelevant, then Foe does more harm than good. (Personally I would not hire her but search for someone more qualified and experienced to head a digital media department. The previous editors have demonstrated that they do not understand nor respect the Wikipedia policies. Our community of editors however shall not become puppets in their game.) Did you realize that they didnt even bother to add a "looted art", "war trophy", or "unclear provenance" reference to the database entry of the pictures you identified? It seems to be obvious that the National Maritime Museum is more interested in whitewashing themselves. Wikipedia policies and editors however will make sure that they can not censor the freedom of speech. I added the article to my watchlist and will check it regularly; I warned sockpuppets in the past, will inform admin if necessary and correct all attempts to vandalize the paragraph immediately. The paragraph fulfills all relevant Wikipedia criteria and will stay where it belongs - in the proximity of the paragraph about the collection of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich London. Still, we could/should start creating -additional- paragraphs about the exhibitions, special achievements, publications, staff - by reliable, verifiable, third party sources. Its a SHAME that the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and Foe or Fiono Romeo failed to do that.Okinawasan 19:50, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
A request for opinion was entered at the Third opinion page. In response I looked at the issue. I agree that the detailed mention in this article is out of scale to the topic; however, I see this controvery as a reasonable topic for a separate article. Although, I would say the at the scope of such an article should not be specifically limited to this institution. --Kevin Murray 23:13, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
- Dear Kevin, Thank you for interfering. Lets try to summarize and "find a path" to an equilibrium, agreement or consensus with the other editors. Allow me to start and please add your points/comments/critiques: (1) the paragraph fulfills all the relevant guidelines of notability/verifiability/reliable sources and should be featured in wikipedia; (2) the track record of the sockpuppets and vandals - according to Foe from the National Maritime Museum is a violation of wikipedia protocols; (3) until now there are -no- verifiable/reliable sources given that would indicate that there is a dispute/wrongdoing; (4) the only statement i see is from a fresh account Foe who claims to represent the NMM which is not confirmed through reliable/verifiable sources and therefore irrelevant; (5) that account spread false accusations and failed to provide supporting arguments ... those are the things which are clear - at least according to wikipedia guidelines. allow me to continue: (5) one article includes a reference to a "Dr. Barnartz Historical Marine Institute in Cologne" which we can not identify - we assume its a mistake of the original author and he refers to Dr. Hans Willy Bernartz, an attorney from Cologne and founder of the Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums Bremerhaven. he published about marine painters (http://www.amazon.de/Marinemaler-Bernartz-Sammlung-Deutschen-Schiffahrtsmuseums-Bremerhaven/dp/3782203526/); i suggested - following the wikipedia guidelines and practice to keep the source but add a note to it, stating the concerns mentioned above; (6) in the context of the current article the paragraph appears to be "out of scale" (your words) and i agree - especially because the -entire- article lacks content and references (i started and added/edited other content when i added the looted art paragraph). (6a) i suggest, that instead of simply hiding the dark spot of the museum we add more content about the "brighter sides", exhibitions, features, staff, achievements; (6b) personally i can understand an argument to eliminate the names of the pictures if they are included in corresponding articles of the painters. i believe, that the names do not provide information that is absolute necessary (in the nmm article), i would include them though if the artworks would have a significant iconic value like the mona lisa(which they dont have); (7) the name of the paragraph is consistent with several 54000 controversy paragraphs/articles in wikipedia (http://www.google.com/search?hl=es&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&q=+site:en.wikipedia.org+wikipedia+controversy ); the term "looted" is used often in the reliable sources mentioned above; (8) i believe it is only logical to include that paragraph in the proximity of the "collection" paragraph but i am open for other "more logical" explainations; (9) the paragraph should stay inside the nmm article or be expanded to a separate article. personally i do not see a better place for the paragraph - but i will consider your convincing arguments. as for mixing the article with other institutions - we already have looted art; i will add a minor reference there, but looted art can simply not feature all looted art extensively. personally i can only see two solutions: keeping it as it is or expaning it to an entire article; (10) i would appriciate it, if we could refrain from broad changes or paragraph kills, especially because we still have the "request for comment" - at least until we have sorted out most of the (starting) points i have listed above. thank you. please add your own/comment - and much better: add good content about the National Maritime Museum and add reliable sources/references to the article - this includes editors from the NMM. thank you.Okinawasan 00:07, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Self-reported provenance gaps
The article says
"The Cultural Property Advice report of the National Maritime Museum states, that out of 394 oil paintings investigated, only 180 have proper provenance, 7 are war trophies, 16 are of possibly suspect origin, 143 have gaps in provenance and 44 paintings have no provenance information at all."
. The manner in which the NMM's collections were assembled by Caird, the major donor, inevitably means there are provenance gaps. Doesn't the article earlier imply criticism only of the Museum's position on the paintings that it regards as "War trophies"?. What more does The Art Newspaper and the editor of the Looted Art controvery section expect the NMM to do about the absence of required papers to demonstrate provenance? Vernon White . . . Talk 22:23, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Ehrhard ? Who ?
The artist mentioned does not appear to be very well known. If this part of the article is to have credibility, a better citation is needed for this person. Vernon White . . . Talk 22:31, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Request for comment - follow up
Thank you for your contributions. I can help resolve the following questions that have been raised. Each comment is in the order it appears on this Discussion page:
1. Vernon White, 20 September (19:20) about whether a 'formal dispute is in progress'.
The National Maritime Museum has no active or recent claims for any of these objects. If the Museum were to receive a request of this nature it would be rigorously investigated with reference to relevant UK sectoral bodies, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the Museums Association.
2. Okinawasan, 23 September (08.40), 'we have no proof that Foe is truly Fiona Romeo'.
I would like to reconfirm that as the Head of Digital Media at the National Maritime Museum, the comments I have added to the Discussion page represent the views of the Museum. I will send an email to Okinawasan from my official Museum email account to verify my identity.
Update: I tried to email Okinawasan but received this error message from Wikipedia: 'this user has not specified a valid e-mail address, or chosen not to receive e-mail from other users.' I have verified my National Maritime Museum email address with Wikipedia and have opted in to receive email from other users, so Okinawasan is free to contact me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Foeromeo (talk • contribs) 16:27, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
3. Vernon White, 21 September (21:45) 'I have doubts about the existence of this organisation: "the Dr. Barnartz Historical Marine Institute in Cologne".'
The spelling of Dr Bernartz's name (with an 'e', and with surname only) and institution is recorded on a letter held at the National Archives, Kew (file reference: DEFE69/429). The letter, addressed to the National Maritime Museum, is dated 31 May 1965, the letterhead is 'Marinehistorisches Institut Dr. Bernartz'. The address given is in Kőln.
4. Kevin Murray, 22 September (23:13), 'I agree that the detailed mention in this article is out of scale to the topic; however, I see this controversy as a reasonable topic for a separate article. Although, I would say that the scope of such an article should not be specifically limited to this institution.'
I agree that this topic would be worthy of a separate, general article on war trophies and World War Two activities. The topic raises a number of large and complex issues which have been debated within the cultural heritage community for a number of years. These issues affect many museums, not just those in the UK. Discussion and frameworks for best practice relating to World War II and the many issues surrounding establishing provenance have evolved considerably over the past decade. In particular, the lending and borrowing of items of sensitive provenance is also now subject to far more regulation than previously. The legal and ethical issues around disposal of items from museum collections (including transfer or restitution) are also now much more complex and subject to new procedures, especially in cases where the object's provenance itself an issue or unknown. The UK Museums Association is currently developing guidelines to assist museums in this area.
Fiona Romeo Head of Digital Media, National Maritime Museum
Foe 14:56, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I haven't read any of this argument up until now, but from reading the section in question, it starts to go south right about here: "The National Maritime Museum disclosed, in January 2007, that 'the documentation at the NMM and the National Archives is not complete'. In the view of The Art Newspaper writer, Michael Bailey, according to spoliation guidelines, the pictures should be regarded as having been 'wrongly taken'."
This and everything that comes after it is argumentative and wrong for an encyclopedia article. Citing a columnist who agrees with a POV is still POV. I won't edit it out right now because I realize it's controversial. I'll wait til there's some consensus here first.
Kevin just now asked me to comment. Really, there's not much more to say. I agree that the treatment of the material at present shows undue weight, and should be a separate article, so it can get a fuller and more even-handed discussion. (As an alternative, this article could be considerably expanded in other respects--it's a wonderful museum, and there's lots more that could be added.) FR is correct that the presentation of the material needs to be improved--as explained above, problems with provenance affect more than this museum. And there's a sharp difference between materials with unknown or incomplete provenance, and those known to be problematic. And we don't cite other articles in WP--we just link them. Citing is good, but excessive cites add to the impression of undue weight. Further, the red-linked title of the last item can be given less provocatively. WP is an encyclopedia, not a place for even the most righteous crusades. DGG (talk) 18:39, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Based on the recent feedback, I've been bold in trimming the section in question, but I've left all of the references so our readers can go further into the matter. Fiona has contacted me by email, from an account which ties to the museum's website. I have also taken the further step to write to the link at the museum site asking for confirmation of her credentials to further refute the assertions above. I hope that she may lead us to more information to expand the article. Thanks for the comments above. --Kevin Murray 19:12, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
War trophy/Looted art
I have reduced the section to a para and cut the refs to include only those in The Art Newspaper. The para now links to "War trophy" and "Looted art" articles. Vernon White . . . Talk 22:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I received the following response from my inquiry regarding the status of Fiona Romeo.
Apologies for the delay in getting back to you - I have been on leave for the past week.
I can confirm that Fiona Romeo is the Head of Digital Media at the National Maritime Museum.
If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Best wishes, Sheryl Sheryl Twigg Press & PR Manager National Maritime Museum, Queen's House and Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6790 Mob: 07903 547 284 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheryl Twigg's position can be confirmed directly at the museum's website. I think this firmly establishes Fiona's credentials. --Kevin Murray 18:16, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Conflict of interest
WikiProject class rating
This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 16:15, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I note that the article now claims an area of 200 acres for the museum. The museum site is separated by a wall and a railway track from Greenwich Park, and are not a part of it. Kbthompson (talk) 15:04, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
The "most famous museum in the United Kingdom" claim
The NMM claim as the "most famous museum in the United Kingdom" would relegate the British Museum to second place at best. This would clearly seem to need a citation. Is it perhaps "most famous nautical museum in the United Kingdom"? JMOprof (talk) 18:08, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
- As the sole contribution of an IP editor, and being uncited and arguably unconstructive, I think this addition can probably be reverted. --IxK85 (talk) 19:28, 21 June 2012 (UTC)