BOOK

Who Owns History? Elgin’s Loot and the Case for Returning Plundered Treasure By Geoffrey Robertson QC

“The biggest question in the world of art and culture concerns the return of property taken without consent. Throughout history, conquerors or colonial masters have taken artefacts from subjugated peoples, who now want them returned from museums and private collections in Europe and the USA. The controversy rages on over the Elgin Marbles, and has been given immediacy by figures such as France’s President Macron, who says he will order French museums to return hundreds of artworks acquired by force or fraud in Africa, and by British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has pledged that a Labour government would return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. Elsewhere, there is a debate in Belgium about whether the Africa Museum, newly opened with 120,000 items acquired mainly by armed forces in the Congo, should close. Although there is an international convention dated 1970 that deals with the restoration of artefacts stolen since that time, there is no agreement on the rules of law or ethics which should govern the fate of objects forcefully or lawlessly acquired in previous centuries. Who Owns History? delves into the crucial debate over the Elgin Marbles, but also offers a system for the return of cultural property based on human rights law principles that are being developed by the courts. It is not a legal text, but rather an examination of how the past can be experienced by everyone, as well as by the people of the country of origin.” Find out more here

PRESS

British Museum is world’s largest receiver of stolen property, leading human rights lawyer claims (The Independent, 5 November 2019)

Read the article here

British Museum is world’s largest receiver of stolen goods, says QC (The Guardian, 4 November 2019)

Read the article here

EVENT

22 November 2019 – Geoffrey Robertson – Who Owns History? The Case for Returning the Elgin Marbles (Emmanuel Centre, London)

“The question of whether Western nations must return the artefacts plundered under colonial rule is the most pressing issue in the art world today. From the Elgin Marbles to the return of more than twelve thousand stolen artefacts from Belgium’s Africa Museum, the cry for the restitution of cultural objects once stolen under armed force or conquest is being heard across the globe. And the call is being heard in the highest echelons of power: from President Macron’s commitment to returning hundreds of artworks acquired by force or fraud in Africa to Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. Geoffrey Robertson QC has earned a formidable reputation as the UK’s leading human rights lawyer advocating in the most important legal cases of our age – from representing Salman Rushdie during the fatwa to fighting for free speech in the world-famous OZ trial. He’s helped the Greek government with legal arguments to reunite the Parthenon Marbles, and Tasmanian Aborigines in their action against the Natural History Museum for the return of the remains of their ancestors. He joins How To Academy to delve into the debate over the Elgin Marbles, and offer a system for the return of cultural property based on human rights principles that aims to ensure the past can be experienced by everyone, as well as by the people of the country of origin. Don’t miss the chance to hear answers from a world-class thinker and orator on the biggest question in the worlds of art and culture today.” Find out more here

Image Credits: Who Owns History? By Geoffrey Robertson QC Book Cover via Biteback Publishing; The British Museum via Pixabay; The Elgin Marbles via How To Academy

BLACK EUROPE RESOURCES Sign Up To Receive Blogposts Directly To Your Inbox By Entering Your Email / Twitter @Blackeresources / Advertise with Black Europe Resources / View Events / Access Issues of The Black & Asian Heritage Mix’ Newsletter / Donors & Sponsors / T&C & Privacy Policy