Author: Jeanette Greenfield
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2013-08-22
Genre: Social Science
In recent years controversial cases such as the so-called Elgin Marbles have prompted public debate on the return of cultural treasures to their homelands. In this fully revised and expanded third edition of her seminal work, first published in 2007, Jeanette Greenfield analyzes and discusses the historical, legal and political issues surrounding a wide cross-section of similar cases. Bringing the story up to date, this edition includes new chapters on wartime plunders, deliberately destroyed art and the return of ethnic art such as Australian aboriginal and Native American art. It also explores the palaeontological and marine archaeology issues at play and examines new approaches taken by museums when dealing with cultural objects and their return. Written in a highly accessible style with an interdisciplinary approach, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural heritage, archaeology and anthropology, museums, art history and international law.
Author: Michael J. Kurtz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2006-03-06
The Nazi war on European culture produced the greatest dislocation of art, archives, and libraries in the history of the world. In the ruins of the Reich, Allied occupiers found millions of paintings, books, manuscripts, and pieces of sculpture, from the mediocre to the priceless, hidden in thousands of secret hideaways. This book tells the story of how the American Military Government in Germany, spearheaded by a few dozen dedicated Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) officers and enlisted men, coped with restoring Europe's cultural heritage.
Stolen, Smuggled Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures tells the dark and compelling stories of iconic cultural objects that were stolen, smuggled or sold, and eventually returned back to their original owner. The book includes full-color photos of the objects.
Author: Tiffany Jenkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-02-25
The fabulous collections housed in the world's most famous museums are trophies from an imperial age. Yet the huge crowds that each year visit the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, or the Metropolitan in New York have little idea that many of the objects on display were acquired by coercion or theft. Now the countries from which these treasures came would like them back. The Greek demand for the return of the Elgin Marbles is the tip of an iceberg that includes claims for the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria, sculpture from Turkey, scrolls and porcelain taken from the Chinese Summer Palace, textiles from Peru, the bust of Nefertiti, Native American sacred objects and Aboriginal human remains. In Keeping Their Marbles, Tiffany Jenkins tells the bloody story of how western museums came to acquire these objects. She investigates why repatriation claims have soared in recent decades and demonstrates how it is the guilt and insecurity of the museums themselves that have stoked the demands for return. Contrary to the arguments of campaigners, she shows that sending artefacts back will not achieve the desired social change nor repair the wounds of history. Instead, this ground-breaking book makes the case for museums as centres of knowledge, demonstrating that no object has a single home and no one culture owns culture.
A journey across four continents to the heart of the conflict over who should own the great works of ancient art Why are the Elgin Marbles in London and not on the Acropolis? Why do there seem to be as many mummies in France as there are in Egypt? Why are so many Etruscan masterworks in America? For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the ancient world to fill its great museums, but in recent years, the countries where ancient civilizations originated have begun to push back, taking museums to court, prosecuting curators, and threatening to force the return of these priceless objects. Where do these treasures rightly belong? Sharon Waxman, a former culture reporter for The New York Times and a longtime foreign correspondent, brings us inside this high-stakes conflict, examining the implications for the preservation of the objects themselves and for how we understand our shared cultural heritage. Her journey takes readers from the great cities of Europe and America to Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, as these countries face down the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She also introduces a cast of determined and implacable characters whose battles may strip these museums of some of their most cherished treasures. For readers who are fascinated by antiquity, who love to frequent museums, and who believe in the value of cultural exchange, Loot opens a new window on an enduring conflict.
Author: Jos van Beurden
Release Date: 2017-05-22
This pioneering study charts the one-way traffic of cultural and historical objects during five centuries of European colonialism. It presents abundant examples of disappeared colonial objects and systematizes these into war booty, confiscations by missionaries and contestable acquisitions by private persons and other categories. Former colonies consider this as a historical injustice that has not been undone. Former colonial powers have kept most of the objects in their custody. In the 1970s the Netherlands and Belgium returned objects to their former colonies Indonesia and DR Congo; but their number was considerably smaller than what had been asked for. Nigeria's requests for the return of some Benin objects, confiscated by British soldiers in 1897, are rejected. As there is no consensus on how to deal with colonial objects, disputes about other categories of contestable objects are analyzed. For Nazi-looted artworks the 1998 Washington Conference Principles have been widely accepted. Although non-binding, they promote fair and just solutions and help people to reclaim art works that they lost involuntarily. To promote solutions for colonial objects, nine Principles for Dealing with Colonial Cultural and Historical Objects are presented, based on the Washington Conference Principles. The nine are part of a model to facilitate mediation in disputes about them. This model can help to break the impasse in negotiations between former colonizers and colonies. Europe, the former colonizers, should do more pro-active provenance research into the acquisitions from the colonial era, both in public institutions and private collections. "This is a very commendable treatise which has painstakingly and with detachment explored the emotive issue of the return of cultural objects removed in colonial times to the metropolis. He has looked at the issues from every continent with clarity and perspicuity." Prof. Folarin Shyllon (University of Ibadan) "Momumentaal werk van hoge kwaliteit. Het hoofdstuk over Congo is bijzonder goed gedocumenteerd en leerrijk" Dr. Guido Gryseels (Director-General of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren) CLUES is an international scientific series covering research in the field of culture, history and heritage which have been written by, or were performed under the supervision of members of the research institute CLUE+.
Author: Jos van Beurden
Publisher: Kit Press
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Business & Economics
The return of cultural and historical treasures touches on a number of political and cultural issues, and often inspires controversy. As the world is changing, the concept of return is changing as well. The shrinking divisions between a poor South and a rich North, colonizer and colonized, and source countries and art and antique market countries all impact our thinking about return. How do Dutch heritage institutions deal with this new reality, when the return of their objects or collections comes under discussion? That is the central question in this critical book. In The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures: The Case of the Netherlands, Jos van Beurden researches cases in which the Dutch state and Dutch heritage institutions have been handing over cultural and historical treasures that were acquired in colonial times and more recently. He investigates the dynamics of their return practice and gives his analysis extra depth by including cases in which the return has not materialized. The most remarkable of these is that of a keris--the traditional sword of Indonesia's national hero Diponegoro. Where is it? In addition to research the written records, many heritage directors and experts were interviewed for the book, making The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures an indispensable addition to the literature about return by the Netherlands of art and human remains.
Against the backdrop of international conventions and their implementation, Cultural Property and Contested Ownership explores how highly-valued cultural goods are traded and negotiated among diverging parties and their interests. Cultural artefacts, such as those kept and trafficked between art dealers, private collectors and museums, have become increasingly localized in a ‘Bermuda triangle’ of colonialism, looting and the black market, with their re-emergence resulting in disputes of ownership and claims for return. This interdisciplinary volume provides the first book-length investigation of the changing behaviours resulting from the effect of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The collection considers the impact of the Convention on the way antiquity dealers, museums and auction houses, as well as nation states and local communities, address issues of provenance, contested ownership, and the trafficking of cultural property. The book contains a range of contributions from anthropologists, lawyers, historians and archaeologists. Individual cases are examined from a bottom-up perspective and assessed from the viewpoint of international law in the Epilogue. Each section is contextualised by an introductory chapter from the editors.
Few beyond the insider realize that museums own millions of objects the public never sees. In Lost in the Museum, Nancy Moses takes the reader behind the Oemployees onlyO doors to uncover the stories buried along with the objects in the crypts of museums, historical societies, and archives. Weaving the stories of the object, its original owner, and the often idiosyncratic institution where the object resides, the book reveals the darkest secret of the cultural world: the precarious balance of art, culture, and politics that keep items, for decades, lost in the museum."
Author: Louise Tythacott
Release Date: 2016-04-22
This book examines contemporary approaches to restitution from the perspective of museums. It focuses on the ways in which these institutions have been addressing the subject at a regional, national and international level. In particular, it explores contemporary practices and recent claims, and investigates to what extent the question of restitution as an issue of ownership is still at large, or whether museums have found additional ways to conceptualise and practice restitution, by thinking beyond the issue of ownership. The challenges, benefits and drawbacks of recent and current museum practice are explored. At the same time, the book discusses how these museum practices are received , and informed, by source communities, institutional and governmental agendas and visitors' expectations in order to explore issues of authority, collaboration and shared or conflicting values between the different communities involved in the process. This important book will contribute to the developing body of literature that academics, professionals, policy makers and students can refer to in order to understand how restitution has been negotiated, 'materialised', practiced and evaluated within museums.
Author: James Cuno
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2010-10-18
Whether antiquities should be returned to the countries where they were found is one of the most urgent and controversial issues in the art world today, and it has pitted museums, private collectors, and dealers against source countries, archaeologists, and academics. Maintaining that the acquisition of undocumented antiquities by museums encourages the looting of archaeological sites, countries such as Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and China have claimed ancient artifacts as state property, called for their return from museums around the world, and passed laws against their future export. But in Who Owns Antiquity?, one of the world's leading museum directors vigorously challenges this nationalistic position, arguing that it is damaging and often disingenuous. "Antiquities," James Cuno argues, "are the cultural property of all humankind," "evidence of the world's ancient past and not that of a particular modern nation. They comprise antiquity, and antiquity knows no borders." Cuno argues that nationalistic retention and reclamation policies impede common access to this common heritage and encourage a dubious and dangerous politicization of antiquities--and of culture itself. Antiquities need to be protected from looting but also from nationalistic identity politics. To do this, Cuno calls for measures to broaden rather than restrict international access to antiquities. He advocates restoration of the system under which source countries would share newly discovered artifacts in exchange for archaeological help, and he argues that museums should again be allowed reasonable ways to acquire undocumented antiquities. Cuno explains how partage broadened access to our ancient heritage and helped create national museums in Cairo, Baghdad, and Kabul. The first extended defense of the side of museums in the struggle over antiquities, Who Owns Antiquity? is sure to be as important as it is controversial. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.