links for 2007-05-14
He Who Knows and Knows Not That He Knows Is Our Attorney General

Archives, Nations, Ownership

Tim Burke writes:

Easily Distracted » Blog Archive » Archives, Nations, Ownership: I have ambivalent feelings about debates over the ownership of physical objects that have sacred or heritage value to one group or institution and knowledge-producing value to another group or institution, such as the struggle over Native American remains held by museums and academic institutions. I am less ambivalent about objects that are valued entirely for their aesthetics or heritage: those, I think, should be repatriated when it can be clearly established that they were stolen or taken without proper authorization. (Say, the Elgin marbles.)...

The last time we were in London, we noticed that the Elgin Marbles had been renamed the "Parthenon Sculptures"--and that there was an account of how the money to pay for the Parthenon had been stolen by Athens from money deposited by its allies in the Aegean and in Anatolia to defend Greece against the Persian Empire. The unspoken hint was that perhaps the Parthenon Sculptures should be returned, if anywhere, to... Turkey.