Welcome to the New Era of Restitution andRepatriation

The last several years have seen a lot of change.

Over the last several years, countries in the Global South, from Nigeria to Mexico, have pursued the return of treasures looted by colonizers with renewed vigor, while some European governments have passed laws or formed new agreements to disband portions of their national collections. If art and artifacts in museums like the Louvre or the British Museum are the symbols of a bygone era, it appears that former colonial powers are begining to use them to make symbolic amends for transgressions long past.

In the United States, meanwhile, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has made it its mission to seize looted artifacts and bring antiquities collectors and dealers to heel. And, after the US government adjusted regulations around Indigenous artifacts and remains, museums are scrambling to be compliant.

While the future may still be uncertain, it has become clear that we’ve entered a new era. Over the next week, ARTnews will explore all the facets of this new world and the power players that make it run.

Follow along here for the latest stories in The New Era of Restitution and Repatriation:

  • Restitution, Repatriation Efforts See Halting Progress Across Europe and the US, amid Shifts in Public Opinion, by Devorah Lauter
  • Looting, Plundering, and More: 20 Cultural Treasures That Have Faced Claims ofTheft, Alex Greenberger
  • The ‘Art Crime Professor’ on the Rise in Private Sector Action on Repatriation, and the Line Between Activism andAcademia by Karen K. Ho
  • Online Activists Are Driving the Fight to Get Stolen Artifacts Repatriated to Nepal by Sakshi Agrawal
  • Opinion: University Museums May Be the Best Repository for Private Antiquities Collections LackingProvenance by Elizabeth Marlowe
  • What the New Federal Regulations for Native American Ancestors and Sacred Objects Mean forMuseums by Karen K. Ho

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