This book examines contemporary approaches to restitution from the perspective of museums. It focuses on the ways in which these institutions have been addressing the subject at a regional, national and international level. In particular, it explores contemporary practices and recent claims, and investigates to what extent the question of restitution as an issue of ownership is still at large, or whether museums have found additional ways to conceptualise and practice restitution, by thinking beyond the issue of ownership. The challenges, benefits and drawbacks of recent and current museum practice are explored. At the same time, the book discusses how these museum practices are received , and informed, by source communities, institutional and governmental agendas and visitors' expectations in order to explore issues of authority, collaboration and shared or conflicting values between the different communities involved in the process. This important book will contribute to the developing body of literature that academics, professionals, policy makers and students can refer to in order to understand how restitution has been negotiated, 'materialised', practiced and evaluated within museums.
A Companion to Museum Studies captures the multidisciplinary approaches to the study of the development, roles, and significance of museums in contemporary society. It is an indispensable reference for art historians, museum curators, and art and culture lovers. Collects first-rate original essays by leading figures from a range of disciplines and theoretical stances, including anthropology, art history, history, literature, sociology, cultural studies, and museum studies Examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political, curatorial, historical and representational perspectives Covers traditional subjects, such as space, display, buildings, objects and collecting, and more contemporary challenges such as visiting, commerce, community and experimental exhibition forms
The Holocaust was not only the greatest murder in history; it was also the greatest theft. Historians estimate that the Nazis stole roughly $230 billion to $320 billion in assets (figured in today’s dollars), from the Jews of Europe. Since the revelations concerning the wartime activities of the Swiss banks first broke in the late 1990s, an ever-widening circle of complicity and wrongdoing against Jews and other victims has emerged in the course of lawsuits waged by American lawyers. These suits involved German corporations, French and Austrian banks, European insurance companies, and double thefts of art—first by the Nazis, and then by museums and private collectors refusing to give them up. All of these injustices have come to light thanks to the American legal system. Holocaust Justice is the first book to tell the complete story of the legal campaign, conducted mainly on American soil, to address these injustices. Michael Bazyler, a legal scholar specializing in human rights and international law, takes an in-depth look at the series of lawsuits that gave rise to a coherent campaign to right historical wrongs. Diplomacy, individual pleas for justice by Holocaust survivors and various Jewish organizations for the last fifty years, and even suits in foreign courts, had not worked. It was only with the intervention of the American courts that elderly Holocaust survivors and millions of other wartime victims throughout the world were awarded compensation, and equally important, acknowledgment of the crimes committed against them. The unique features of the American system of justice—which allowed it to handle claims that originated over fifty years ago and in another part of the world—made it the only forum in the world where Holocaust claims could be heard. Without the lawsuits brought by American lawyers, Bazyler asserts, the claims of the elderly survivors and their heirs would continue to be ignored. For the first time in history, European and even American corporations are now being forced to pay restitution for war crimes totaling billions of dollars to Holocaust survivors and other victims. Bazyler deftly tells the unfolding stories: the Swiss banks’ attempt to hide dormant bank accounts belonging to Holocaust survivors or heirs of those who perished in the war; German private companies that used slave laborers during World War II—including American subsidiaries in Germany; Italian, Swiss and German insurance companies that refused to pay on prewar policies; and the legal wrangle going on today in American courts over art looted by the Nazis in wartime Europe. He describes both the human and legal dramas involved in the struggle for restitution, bringing the often-forgotten voices of Holocaust survivors to the forefront. He also addresses the controversial legal and moral issues over Holocaust restitution and the ethical debates over the distribution of funds. With an eye to the future, Bazyler discusses the enduring legacy of Holocaust restitution litigation, which is already being used as a model for obtaining justice for historical wrongs on both the domestic and international stage.
Hailed when it was first published in 1985 as the bible of U.S. collections management, A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections offers the only comprehensive discussion of the legal questions faced by museums regarding collections. This revised and expanded third edition addresses the many legal developments—including a comprehensive discussion of stolen art and the international movement of cultural property, recent developments in copyright, and the effects of burgeoning electronic uses—that have occurred during the past twenty-five years. An authorative, go-to book for any museum professional, Legal Primer offers detailed explanations of the law, suggestions for preventing legal problems, and numerous case studies of lawsuits involving museum collections.
While the question of the return of cultural objects is by no means a new one, it has become the subject of increasingly intense debate in recent years. This important book explores the removal and the return of cultural objects from occupied communities during the last two centuries and analyses the concurrent evolution of international cultural heritage law. The book focuses on the significant influence exerted by British, U.S. and Australian governments and museums on international law and museum policy in response to restitution claims. It shows that these claims, far from heralding the long-feared dissolution of museums and their collections, provide museums with a vital, new role in the process of self-determination and cultural identity. Compelling and thought-provoking throughout, this book is essential reading for archaeologists, international lawyers and all those involved in cultural resource management.
A Commentary to International Conventions and European Union Law
Author: Irini A. Stamatoudi
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Category: Political Science
This invaluable book, for the first time, brings together the international and European Union legal framework on cultural property law and the restitution of cultural property. Drawing on the author's extensive experience of international disputes, it provides a very comprehensive and useful commentary. Theories of cultural nationalism and cultural internationalism and their founding principles are explored. Irini Stamatoudi also draws on soft law sources, ethics, morality, public feeling and the role of international organisations to create a complete picture of the principles and trends emerging today.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Banking and Financial Services
In the past, museums often changed the meaning of icons or statues of deities from sacred to aesthetic, or used them to declare the superiority of Western society, or simply as cultural and historical evidence. The last generation has seen faith groups demanding to control 'their' objects, and curators recognising that objects can only be understood within their original religious context. In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in the role religion plays in museums, with major exhibitions highlighting the religious as well as the historical nature of objects. Using examples from all over the world, Religious Objects in Museums is the first book to examine how religious objects are transformed when they enter the museum, and how they affect curators and visitors. It examines the full range of meanings that religious objects may bear - as scientific specimen, sacred icon, work of art, or historical record. Showing how objects may be used to argue a point, tell a story or promote a cause, may be worshipped, ignored, or seen as dangerous or unlucky, this highly accessible book is an essential introduction to the subject.
Art museums, cases of beauty and calm in a fast-paced world, have emerged in recent decades as the most vibrant and popular of all cultural institutions. But as they have become more popular, their direction and values have been contested as never before. This engaging thematic history of the art museum from its inception in the eighteenth century to the present offers an essential framework for understanding contemporary debates as they have evolved in Europe and the United States.