Title: British Museum must recognise its own powers in matters of restitution
Author: Alexander Herman
Media Outlet: The Art Newspaper
Publish Date: May 29, 2019
“Case of Ethiopian tabots shows that trustees' hands are not tied when it comes to the disposal of certain items from the collection.
The British Museum seems to enjoy telling the world about its statutory restrictions. Whenever would-be claimants approach the museum seeking restitution of an object from the collection, the almost mechanical response from the museum is that its trustees are prevented from doing so, even if they wanted to, because of the onerous restrictions on deaccessioning collection items found within the British Museum Act 1963.
(…) There is a specific provision that allows the British Museum trustees to give away items from the collection if the trustees deem them to be “unfit” for retention in the collection and that the removal would not be detrimental to the interests of students.