Many countries want artefacts returned, but at best, the response to these requests has been only the tiniest trickle, from museums that continue to cling to notions of legitimacy.
Never ending debate: repatriation of cultural artifacts
April 14, 8:12 PMNY Art ExaminerJennifer Eberhart
One of the most widely debated topics in the art history world today is repatriation, or the return of “stolen or gifted” items to the home country. Should museums be allowed to keep their collections as they are, for the benefit of their patrons, or are they required to return significant works of art to the countries they originated from?
The debate continues as Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s antiquities director, recently announced his continued quest to retrieve artifacts stolen from the countries centuries ago, when the archaeological statutes that we have now weren’t in place. Hawass claims he will be relentless in his efforts, and is teaming up with other countries around the globe in order to further his mission. Meeting last week at the “Conference on International Cooperation for the Protection and Repatriation of Cultural Heritage”, Egypt and 25 other countries, including China, Peru and Italy, hope to reclaim many of these ancient artifacts from museums around the world.
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