Ownership

Who Owns the Past? Museums and Cultural Heritage Repatriation

Title: Who Owns the Past? Museums and Cultural Heritage Repatriation
Author: Lauren Henry and Eric Michael Rhodes
Media Outlet: History Talk
Publish Date: January 2019

“(…) The expropriation of material culture has proven controversial in a variety of contexts, from the acquisition of Native American remains by American museums to the complicated provenance of Greek and Roman antiquities held by such major art institutions as the Getty Villa in Los Angeles and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In fact, debates about the rightful ownership of conquered cultural artifacts are almost as old as imperial conquest itself, as evidenced by Cicero’s 70 BCE denunciation of the Roman plundering of Greek temples in conquered Sicily.