Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If You Happen to Find Yourself in Chicago...

On November 14th, please make an effort to attend this one-day symposium, to be offered by the DePaul University College of Law Centre for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law. The symposium "will address the underlying legal, ethical and moral reasons and policies behind the return of cultural objects. Panels will discuss provenance research, museum acquisitions, the 1970 UNESCO Convention and historical appropriations, and the ethical issues that come into play when requests for repatriation are made." It is rare to see so many influential scholars on this topic in the same room at the same time, so this is truly an opportunity not to be missed (if you're not on an entirely different continent, as I am).

Topics will include "market and legal" perspectives on the need for more thorough provenance (ownership history) research, how museums can negotiate the acquisition of artifacts that lack a pre-1970 provenance (and should they?), legal and moral aspects of international calls for repatriation of artefacts lifted during the Colonial-era, and the oft-contentious issue of when museums and private dealers or collectors should and shouldn't heed calls for repatriation. All in all, it seems like quite the fascinating that I wish I could attend! If any readers of this blog do attend, and would like to guest-blog about what they learned, they are more than welcome.