Sunday, April 20, 2014

Repatriation For Whose Benefit?

The New York Times has published this interesting article about what happens to artifacts after they are repatriated.  The answer seems to be that for the most part they are unseen and subject to "benign" neglect.  As Nation States and their allies in the archaeological community press for more and more repatriations, the question should be asked for whose real benefit?

1 comment:

John H said...

Perhaps Mr Tompa, there is a case for the repatriation of some items...perhaps. But a strong, or indeed, convincing case for wholesale repatriation has yet to be made.

However, with the prevailing scandalous situation existing in Britain; where excavated items are languishing unclassified, and unreported, in plastic bags in assorted sheds across the land in a manner that makes some Middle Eastern countries' way of doing things look efficient. Then, perhaps not.

However, the UK system, albeit far from ideal -- until the PAS takes full control of archaeological finds at least -- is perhaps a better system than repatriating valuable items to corrupt regimes and officials who'll likely as not, pass them out through the back door and on to the black-market!


John Howland