Imperialism, Art and Restitution

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John Henry Merryman
Cambridge University Press, Jun 5, 2006 - Law - 267 pages
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The issue of returning art and cultural property removed from explored or conquered lands by Americans and Europeans is an unresolved problem. This book is about the return, or not, of works of art and antiquity taken during the Age of Imperialism and now held in museums and private collections. Arguments put forth by the states seeking return or restitution for lost art treasures and meaningful cultural icons are pitted against conservator interests who maintain that these art treasures and cultural artefacts belong to all humanity and should be preserved in museums. In this volume, scholars and authorities on art, cultural property law and museum collections offer contrasting views on topics such as the Elgin Marbles, the return of the Nefertiti Bust and the problems and progress of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
 

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This book is indispensable to anyone studying or researching issues of repatriation. It focuses on the Elgin Marbles, the Bust of Nefertiti, and Native American artifacts/NAGPRA, including the legal arguments without being incomprehensible to us not studying law. I wrote my senior thesis on the bust of Nefertiti in the debate for repatriation, and this book was absolutely the best resource I found. 

Contents

1 view from the universal museum
15
2 from global pillage to pillars of
37
3 museums as centers of cultural
47
4 imperial appropriations of the parthenon
65
duty to preserve to explain and to question by research
94
5 whither the elgin marbles?
98
6 the beautiful one has come to return
114
7 the beautiful one has come to stay
135
appendix i
166
appendix ii
175
5 A summary exposition of the goal of the excavations
190
8 nagpra from the middle distance
193
9 finders keepers and deep american history
218
that the Kennewick remains are related to the presentday tribe
226

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