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The Return of Cultural Treasures
     

The Return of Cultural Treasures

by Jeanette Greenfield, Magnus Magnusson (Introduction), Jeannette Greenfield
 

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The return of cultural treasures to their homelands has become the subject of heated public debate in recent years. This updated, revised work includes new chapters on art treasures and museums in post-Soviet Russia, claims to the Vatican for Hebrew manuscripts, and the saga of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Overview

The return of cultural treasures to their homelands has become the subject of heated public debate in recent years. This updated, revised work includes new chapters on art treasures and museums in post-Soviet Russia, claims to the Vatican for Hebrew manuscripts, and the saga of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Denmark's restitution to Iceland in 1971 of priceless Icelandic medieval manuscripts stands as an example of enlightened cooperation. But the ownership of many other cultural treasures is hotly disputed, such as that of the Elgin Marbles--or Parthenon Marbles, as the Greeks call them--now in the British Museum. In an enlightening, wide-angled survey of a global problem, Greenfield, a Cambridge scholar, weighs dozens of claims for the restitution of objects, from the Koh-i-noor diamond, claimed by India and Pakistan, to African gold relics, Chinese scrolls and Maori carvings. Building on the work of UNESCO and other agencies, Greenfield sets forth criteria for deciding whether a particular artifact should be returned to the country of origin. She also scans the escalating worldwide traffic in stolen art objects, noting that auction houses and dealers are subject to few legal controls. This provocative, richly illustrated study deserves a wide readership. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In his somewhat technical exposition of the now-topical subject of cultural property and its handling, Greenfield develops a middle-ground stance. He presents the legal, historical, and political dilemmas in a moderate fashion, though he still acknowledges that ``in terms of profitability, art theft is ranked second in the world to drug trade.'' He further argues that there is sufficient precedent for the ``return'' of historically removed treasures, plus those involved in illicit trading. Considering in detail the Icelandic Manuscripts, Elgin marbles, and the Australian aboriginal collections, among other treasures, Greenfield clarifies today's headlines with a discussion of the UNESCO Convention, the U.S. Cultural Property Law, and the U.S. Customs Service strict enforcement of the McClain case. The notes and bibliography alone make this essential for large art and law collections.-- Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md.
Booknews
Reviews the complex historical, legal, and political issues involved in claims against museums and collectors for the return of artifacts to their country of origin. The cases discussed include Icelandic manuscripts, the Elgin marbles, and finds from Africa, pre-Columbian America, Australia, and Asia. Includes microfiche of 18 key international documents not otherwise readily available. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"This volume is a valuable addition to any collection on repatriation. The material covered is highly readable, being presented in such a way as to be of interest and use to both the scholastic community and inquiring minds in the general public. As such, this latest edition of The Return of Cultural Treasures is recommended to everyone interested in repatriation and international law regarding cultural heritage." -Robert J. Stark, University of Alberta: Canadian Journal of Archaeology

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521471701
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/26/1996
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
373
Product dimensions:
6.85(w) x 9.72(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Jeanette Greenfield is Australian and graduated from Melbourne and Cambridge Universities before taking her Ph.D. at Cambridge in international law.

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