Category Archives: Repatriation

Report on Conference for Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

Posted on: December 9, 2016 by Fionnuala Rogers

“A country is not recognised by its size on the map, but by its culture” Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova quoted His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former President of the UAE at the International Conference for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas on 2nd and 3rd December […]

Two more Indian artefacts returned by Australia

Posted on: September 21, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Following on from the return of the Shiva Nataraja idol from the National Gallery of Australia in 2014, two more Indian artefacts are now set to be restituted by the same institution to their country of origin. These are the sculptures ‘Goddess Pratyangira’ and ‘Worshippers of the Buddha’, both purchased by the gallery in 2005 […]

European Court rejects Elgin Marbles claim

Posted on: August 1, 2016 by Alexander Herman

We had earlier this year reported on a claim lodged at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by an independent Athenian association seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles. The claim of the Syllogos Ton Athinaion (or ‘Athenians’ Association’) has been rejected by the Court on admissibility grounds. In a short ruling dated 23 June 2016 […]

Good news as UK to finally adopt Hague Convention

Posted on: May 19, 2016 by Alexander Herman

At long last… It was announced in the Queen’s speech yesterday that the UK Parliament would see the introduction of a bill to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This is a positive sign and one that had been hinted at (with little more) by […]

Athenian group brings human rights claim for return of Parthenon Sculptures

Posted on: February 22, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Following the rejection of UNESCO’s mediation proposal by the UK government and the British Museum in March 2015, a Greek entity called the ‘Athenians’ Association’ has decided to bring an action seeking the return of the Parthenon Sculptures (or Elgin Marbles) before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg. According to last week’s press statement, the claim […]

Chicago conference on art restitution and human rights

Posted on: September 30, 2015 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

Those of our readers from Chicago (or passing through the area) may be interested in a fascinating conference coming up called Art Restitution, Preservation of Cultural Heritage and the Human Right to Identity hosted by the John Marshall Law School, running on 15-16th October 2015. The programme includes presentations on the return of Nazi-looted art, the protection of cultural sites during […]

Five Motunui Panels at last returned to NZ tribe

Posted on: September 8, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Following up on a post from last year, the five Motunui panels that had been illegally exported from New Zealand back in the 1970s have finally made the journey back to the tribal lands from which they came. The panels have been with the people of the Te Atiawa since March 2015, having been earlier kept at the Te Papa […]

Media coverage of upcoming conference on stolen books

Posted on: May 18, 2015 by Alexander Herman

As many of you know, the Institute of Art and Law, the British Library and the Union Internationale des Avocats are organising a conference next month on the theft and recovery of books, manuscripts and maps. The one-day conference is entitled The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril and will be hosted by the British Library, taking […]

Canada returns Khajuraho sculpture to India

Posted on: April 29, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Earlier this month, it was reported that Canada was returning a 900-year-old sandstone statue to India. This was done with all the necessary pomp and ceremony, with each nation’s prime minister more than ready for a dual photo op with the piece. Of course it represented much more than mere cultural restitution: as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, cultural relations between […]

Criticism mounts ahead of BM show on Aboriginal art

Posted on: April 20, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Having highlighted the issue in an earlier post, the criticism of the upcoming British Museum exhibition, Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilization (a purposely ambiguous title?) has become more vociferous with a cutting article published recently in The Guardian provocatively entitled ‘Preservation or plunder? The battle over the British Museum’s Indigenous Australian show’. Past events involving the Dja Dja Wurrung bark etchings are […]