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This is a new edition of Greenfield's pioneering study about the legal, political and historical aspects of cultural restitution.
New edition of Greenfield's pioneering study about the legal, political and historical aspects of cultural restitution.
In recent years controversial cases such as the so-called Elgin Marbles have prompted public debate on the return of cultural treasures to their homelands. In this fully revised and expanded third edition of her seminal work, first published in 2007, Jeanette Greenfield analyzes and discusses the historical, legal and political issues surrounding a wide cross-section of similar cases. Bringing the story up to date, this edition includes new chapters on wartime plunders, deliberately destroyed art and the return of ethnic art such as Australian aboriginal and Native American art. It also explores the palaeontological and marine archaeology issues at play and examines new approaches taken by museums when dealing with cultural objects and their return. Written in a highly accessible style with an interdisciplinary approach, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural heritage, archaeology and anthropology, museums, art history and international law.
The Nazi war on European culture produced the greatest dislocation of art, archives, and libraries in the history of the world. In the ruins of the Reich, Allied occupiers found millions of paintings, books, manuscripts, and pieces of sculpture, from the mediocre to the priceless, hidden in thousands of secret hideaways. This book tells the story of how the American Military Government in Germany, spearheaded by a few dozen dedicated Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) officers and enlisted men, coped with restoring Europe's cultural heritage.
The return of cultural and historical treasures touches on a number of political and cultural issues, and often inspires controversy. As the world is changing, the concept of return is changing as well. The shrinking divisions between a poor South and a rich North, colonizer and colonized, and source countries and art and antique market countries all impact our thinking about return. How do Dutch heritage institutions deal with this new reality, when the return of their objects or collections comes under discussion? That is the central question in this critical book. In The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures: The Case of the Netherlands, Jos van Beurden researches cases in which the Dutch state and Dutch heritage institutions have been handing over cultural and historical treasures that were acquired in colonial times and more recently. He investigates the dynamics of their return practice and gives his analysis extra depth by including cases in which the return has not materialized. The most remarkable of these is that of a keris--the traditional sword of Indonesia's national hero Diponegoro. Where is it? In addition to research the written records, many heritage directors and experts were interviewed for the book, making The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures an indispensable addition to the literature about return by the Netherlands of art and human remains.
While the question of the return of cultural objects is by no means a new one, it has become the subject of increasingly intense debate in recent years. This important book explores the removal and the return of cultural objects from occupied communities during the last two centuries and analyses the concurrent evolution of international cultural heritage law. The book focuses on the significant influence exerted by British, U.S. and Australian governments and museums on international law and museum policy in response to restitution claims. It shows that these claims, far from heralding the long-feared dissolution of museums and their collections, provide museums with a vital, new role in the process of self-determination and cultural identity. Compelling and thought-provoking throughout, this book is essential reading for archaeologists, international lawyers and all those involved in cultural resource management.

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