Art objects belong where they’re found

06 Sep 2012 4:32 PM | Anonymous

Art objects belong where they’re found

Give it back

Are all the ancient works of art currently stored or displayed in the world’s museums war booty? Some were ’borrowed’ (or stolen), others given or rescued for restoration and preservation. But now some of the countries of origin are pressing harder for restitution, including through the FBI
by Patrick Howlett-Martin

The Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act, currently working its way through the US Senate, is a disturbing bill that seeks to protect public museums in the US and elsewhere from claims that works in their collections were illicitly appropriated. (It excepts works seized by the Nazi regime or its allies in Europe between 1933 and 1945.) The idea is to prevent recourse to the courts to recover works acquired through fraudulent means. Curators of the major US museums championed the legislation, which was introduced by a Democrat and a Republican and has been approved by the US House of Representatives. It enjoyed the support of the national council of French museums (Haut Conseil des Musées de France), before protests weakened their resolve

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