1st Edition

Museums and Restitution
New Practices, New Approaches

ISBN 9780815399476
Published December 15, 2017 by Routledge
204 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

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.



Louise Tythacott is Dr Pratapaditya Pal Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology of Asian Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and was previously Lecturer in Museology at the University of Manchester. She has worked in the museum field for over a decade, latterly as Head of Asian, African, Oceanic and American Collections at National Museums Liverpool. She has published widely on the relationship between museums and anthropology: her books include Surrealism and the Exotic (2003) and The Lives of Chinese Objects: Buddhism, Imperialism and Display (2011). She is also a Managing Editor of the journal, Museum and Society. Kostas Arvanitis is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Museology at the University of Manchester, UK. His research crosses the fields of museology, archaeology and digital heritage. He has published on the theory and practice of digital, social and mobile media in museums and the interpretation of archaeological sites in urban environments.


’This book is essential reading for anyone interested in restitution. Its essays bring together global case studies and thematic overviews, exploring the wide range of activities, outcomes, thought and policy involved in restitution, including disputed cases; ethics and issues of power; and the potentially positive effects of restitution on museums as well as the real challenges it poses to museums.’ Laura Peers, University of Oxford, UK ’Repatriations of cultural material and human remains continue to arouse debate in the international heritage sector. In this lively collection, leading figures guide us through an impressive range of topics in essays that are sometimes provocative, sometimes reflective, but always revealing. Museums and Restitution is crucial reading for anyone interested in the changing role of museums in a global context.’ Samuel J.M.M. Alberti, Director of Museums and Archives, Royal College of Surgeons of England, UK ’Addressing the contentious and emotional complexity of issues concerning the repatriation and return of cultural treasures, Museums and Restitution provides readers with a valuable overview of current scholarship in the field. This carefully edited volume contains a wealth of material and is highly recommended to students of museums, heritage and cultural studies as well as to professionals and individuals concerned with museums and social justice.’ Viv Golding, University of Leicester, UK '... the papers are insightful and informative and, notably, presented case studies are examined without bias. All contributions highlight the key role that museums and communities play in matters of restitution, inviting the reader to ponder over the issue of ownership of museum objects. Thus, the objective of the book is met, and, to the reviewer's mind, this publication is a major contribution to the field of museum studies. Rosetta ’As a group the essays are lively and thoughtful, and offer insights into how the processes