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August 11, 2010

Taiwan’s hopes to secure the return of artefacts from the British Museum

Posted at 1:02 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

If Taiwan wants to make more of their own aboriginal culture, they need to secure the return of many important artefacts from this era that are in other museums around the world.

Taipei Times

Taiwan needs a national Aboriginal museum
By Lu Meifen 盧梅芬
Monday, May 17, 2010, Page 8

If Taiwan is a culturally diverse country, then how is that reflected in our museums? The National Palace Museum in Taipei remains the main portal for those who want to learn about Chinese culture in Taiwan. The only Taiwanese museum dedicated specifically to Aboriginal culture is the Cultural Park Bureau of the Cabinet’s Council of Indigenous Peoples. Its status is uncertain, it lacks research experts and its permanent exhibitions are not being updated. In other words, it falls far short of the standard we have a right to expect from a national museum of Aborigines.

Aside from the National Palace Museum, the highest-ranking national museums in Taiwan are the National Museum of History in Taipei, the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, the National Science and Technology Museum in Kaohsiung, the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung and the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung. The Museum of Prehistory is the highest-ranking museum in Taiwan dedicated to prehistoric research, Aborigines and the ­connection between prehistory, Aborigines and Austronesia. Although it is charged with promoting balanced cultural development in eastern Taiwan and in the nation’s remote regions, the Museum of Prehistory has the smallest staff, even though Aborigines make up a majority of residents in those areas.
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