Austerity, Heritage, and Tourism

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David Gill will be giving a lecture on ‘Austerity, heritage and tourism: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece’ as part of the Edmund Lecture Series for 2017/18. The lecture will be in Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 18 April 2018 at 6.00 pm.

Abstract

Tourism is a significant part of the Greek economy and an important counterbalance to austerity. There are 18 UNESCO cultural and two mixed World Heritage Sites (WHS) in Greece. They range from the Bronze Age site of Mycenae, through the Classical site of Olympia, to the Medieval City of Rhodes. These locations stand alongside a rich range of archaeological and heritage sites as well as museums that serve as a repository for the finds. This lecture will review the value of these UNESCO recognised sites as focal points for tourist activity. This overview will be presented against the wider visitor figures for other archaeological sites and museums in the care of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. This information will be mapped onto the wider visitor data for Greece, and contributes to the discussion over the economic impact of World Heritage Sites for local economies as well as the wider economy of Greece. The lecture will explore the likely impact of Brexit on the Greek tourist economy, and opens a wider discussion of why the UK Government should value our own UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

[Details]

Dr John Disney and Essex

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Dr John Disney (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) © David Gill

Thomas Brand-Hollis bequeathed his house, The Hyde, near Ingatestone, Essex, to his friend the Reverend John Disney, the minister of the Unitarian Essex Street Chapel in London, in 1804. Disney prepared a private catalogue of the collections in the house (1807; rev. 1809), in part formed by Brand-Hollis and his friend Thomas Hollis on their Grand Tour of Italy. He also prepared a memoir of Brand-Hollis (1808). Disney’s father-in-law Archdeacon Francis Blackburne had earlier published the memoir of Thomas Hollis (1780).

Disney’s older brother, Lewis (Disney-ffytche), lived at Danbury Park, Essex. His daughter, Sophia Disney-ffytche, married Disney’s son John, a barrister, in 1802.

The Reverend Disney died in December 1816, and The Hyde was inherited by his son John. Lewis Disney-ffytche died in September 1822, and his bequest to Sophia allowed the Disney’s to take up residency in Essex. John stood, unsuccessfully, as MP for Ipswich (1830), and Harwich (1832, 1835).

The Chelmsford Philosophical Society was founded in 1828. Disney served on its committee and was elected its president. He was instrumental in the creation of the Chelmsford Museum that opened in July 1843.

Disney was a member of the Chelmsford committee of the Eastern Counties Railway (1835). The line reached Chelmsford in December 1842.

Disney revised his father’s earlier catalogue of The Hyde and published it as the Museum Disneianum (1846) with an expanded version (1849). In April 1850 he formerly offered his collection of classical sculptures to the University of Cambridge (for display in the Fitzwilliam Museum). In 1851 he provided money for the creation of the Disney Chair of Archaeology. In December 1852 the first Disney professor, John Marsden, gave the inaugural lecture of the Essex Archaeological Society (where Disney was president).

Disney received the honorary degree of DCL from Oxford in 1854, and was incorporated with a LLD from Cambridge later in the same year. He presented a bust of himself to the Fitzwilliam Museum to mark the occasion.

Disney died in May 1857 and was buried at Fryerning.

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Grave of Dr John Disney, Fryerning © David Gill

Research seminar:

Dr John Disney and Essex:
displaying and interpreting the past in public and private spheres

Department of History, University of Essex (Room 6.348)
Wednesday 20 April, 4.00 pm

“Saved for the nation” in Welwyn

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My copy of Russell Meiggs’ The Athenian Empire (reprinted 1975) contains two (numbered) tickets to a lecture on ‘The story of three Roman sites saved for the nation’. This was a lecture hosted by the Welwyn Archaeological Society in the mid to late 1970s (and with a tpq, I suspect, of 1975). I would imagine one of the sites was the Roman bath-house under the A1(M) at Welwyn.

Can anybody provide a little more information?

The Wonderful World of Disney

This lecture — part of the UCS Academy Series — explores the background to Dr John Disney who established the Disney Chair of Archaeology at Cambridge University. It starts with eighteenth century disputes in the Church of England, republican values, and the formation of philosophical and archaeological societies in East Anglia. 

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