12 thoughts on “Culture & Controversy: Should Museums Return Ancient Artifacts?

  1. i honestly think that returning the artifacts to countries in war, is dangerous. however, if a country wants their artifact back, why not have the museum make a replica? surely casting in silicone then making a resin copy should be sufficient? sure it'd be really expensive, but you could then send the original back to the original country, without fear of losing it forever. the replica would be exact and could remain on display, while the original can be sent back to the originating country without fear that it'll be damaged or destroyed.

    I know it won't work for paintings, but surely you could hire someone to make a replica of that too? Please go to museums to see different cultures and to learn, not necessarily to see the actual artifact. Do the research, make a replica, and return the original. if you have an exact replica, or in the case of paintings a as close as possible approximation; you allow people to still visit and learn, while also not needing to be worried if the replica gets damaged (in the case of resin pours anyways) because you'll still have the master mold.

    I know i wouldn't work in every situation, but being stubborn and digging your heels in while screaming "absolutely not!" isn't going to help anyone.

  2. Western countries have all the means to safely scan and measure items, I see no reason as to why they cant replicate (obviously letting viewers know this is only a replica) artifacts and immediately repatriate them. This of course cant always be the case, like if the country of origin is unstable then obviously we cant send an artifact back to potentially get destroyed. I've even heard of "vr" being a new option so that many places all at once can enjoy artifacts, which to me sounds interesting.

  3. The foremost ancient history museum in Denmark (Moesgaard) had teracotta army, on loan from china, and just had an showcase from mexico, just now, more of that please.

  4. I mean, I don't have an opinion I just couldn't deal with you misprouncing my town wrong. It's just El-gin with a hard G, not El-jin.

    Love, Someone who actually lives in Elgin, Scotland.

  5. No, I don't believe countries really have a claim to ancient artifacts. Countries and Government rise and fall and it seems rather straight forward that claims of artifacts could go multiple ways and have endless debate on whether or not how something was obtained and when could be one way or another.

    We can argue that the artifacts in museums that have been there for over a hundred years belong as a cultural piece to the country in which that museum resides and has the most claim to it. Because they have been the owners of the artifact in all of living memory and all generations know those artifacts to reside where they currently reside. So we can argue that everyone alive knows that such and such artifact resides in that museum and it has been known to be this way and no one arguing to take the artifact elsewhere has ever known it to be another way. So they are arguing to alter current cultural knowledge to reinstate what they think might have been.

    But, ultimately pushing aside the arguments of possession and the fact that the artifacts original owners and claimants are long dead and forgotten and most arguments and debates are rather mute. Artifacts should not be handled and moved as it puts them at risk of damage or even theft/counterfeiting.

    Currently counterfeiting artifacts is a real thing and many of the museums holding ancient artifacts for decades and even centuries have a definitive providence of the artifacts being in their possession and can speak to the authenticity of the artifacts. Allowing them to change hands disrupts this and can cast doubt on artifacts being recreations or needing to be repaired or restored from damage changing what they are. Those cultural revolutions where artifacts and works of art are destroyed because of religious, philosophical or political reasons as exampled in the video are a very current and real risks that redistributing artifacts would expose the artifacts to. Then the original artifacts would be lost forever or have to have "authentic" recreations from documented sources exhibited instead to show what the culture was like. But I think we can all agree a modern recreation with modern tools and techniques takes a severe portion of the aesthetic and awe of ancient works and masterpieces that took greater time, power and skill to achieve.

    Sending the money to the governments countries of origin does nothing as it only would be essentially tax revenue that would go into the bureaucracy and lost to political costs and never actually benefit the people. It would be better to fund universities and setup scholarships and grants that would benefit the people directly where the governments should not be allowed to touch any of the funds in anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *