Who Owns the Past?: Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and the Law / Edition 1

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Overview

Public and private institutions in the United States have long been home to a variety of art works, antiquities, and ethnological materials. For years, these collections have been seen as important archives that allow present and future generations to enjoy, appreciate, and value the art of all cultures. In the past decade, however, questions have been raised as to exactly what constitutes legal and ethical ownership of art and other cultural property. Some observers believe that art and ethnological materials should remain in source countries and have lobbied for an end to art trading. Recent changes to U.S. law may curtail both private and public collecting.

Contributors to Who Owns the Past? include legal scholars, museum professionals, anthropologists, archaeologists, and collectors. In clear, nontechnical language, they provide a comprehensive overview of the development of cultural property law and practices, as well as recent case law affecting the ability of museums and private collectors to own art from other countries. Topics covered include rights to property, ethical ownership, the public responsibilities of museums, threats to art from war and development, and international cooperation to preserve collections in the developing world.

Engaging all perspectives on this debate, Who Owns the Past? challenges all who care about the arts to work together toward policies that consider traditional American interests in securing cultural resources and respect international concerns over loss of heritage.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813536873
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Series: Rutgers Series: The Public Life of the Arts
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Fitz Gibbon is a consultant on cultural property and a specialist in central Asian art. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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