S08E03: Returning Cultural Objects

We’re joined by special guest hosts Jeremy Uden and Marina de Alarcón from the Pitt Rivers Museum as we discuss the return of cultural objects. What are some of the attitudes we’ve encountered, and what is the role of the conservator in this? Kloe talks to Mark Furness about preparing objects for return, and Daniel Schwartz about how we can become better facilitators. Also tune in for a review of ’Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits’ by Chip Colwell.

00:00:52 Repatriation or restitution?
00:03:01 Attitudes in the sector
00:10:47 Where did we get these things to begin with?
00:13:38 Knowing what you’ve got
00:16:41 Role of conservators
00:24:32 Reactions and dialogue
00:28:19 Stewardship not ownership
00:31:23 Gains, not losses
00:37:35 Our place within restitution
00:44:06 Interview with Mark Furness
00:55:58 Interview with Daniel Schwartz
01:04:55 Review: ’Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits’

Show Notes:
– Repatriation vs restitution: https://collectionstrust.org.uk/cultural-property-advice/restitution-and-repatriation/
– About NAGPRA: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nagpra/index.htm
– Pitt Rivers removal of human remains from display: https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/2020/09/pitt-rivers-museum-removes-shrunken-heads-from-display-after-ethical-review/
– Bronze cockerel returned to Nigeria: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/nov/27/bronze-cockerel-to-be-returned-to-nigeria-by-cambridge-college
– Museum Ethnographers Group: http://www.museumethnographersgroup.org.uk/en/
– Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plundered-Skulls-Stolen-Spirits-Americas/dp/022629899X

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Hosted by Jenny Mathiasson, Kloe Rumsey, Jeremy Uden, and Marina de Alarcón.

Intro and outro music by DDmyzik used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

A Wooden Dice production, 2020.

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