Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Returns of Cultural Property to Thailand

Sukhothai ruins
The Ministry of Culture in Thailand is intensifying its efforts to recover cultural property now housed in institutions over the world, primarily in museums in the US, the UK and Australia (Javier Pes, Thailand Is Ramping Up Efforts to Recover Cultural Heritage From US Museums, Including the Met. artnet News  November 6, 2018)
 Joyce White, the executive director of the Institute for Southeast Asian Archaeology in Philadelphia, tells artnet News that the Thai government’s current push to recover objects they consider to have been illegally exported means that museums and collectors “can no longer assume disinterest on the part of the Thai concerning these activities.” She urges institutions to be more transparent about their past acquisitions, including by publishing collecting histories. “Shining a light on this murky area of the museum world will hopefully be a trend in the 21st century,” White says. “If museums have clear legal backing for particular acquisitions, they can make their case in a court of law. Transparency should not be a problem for them.”
We will see what documentation they produce.
Thailand has successfully recovered lost cultural heritage in the past. After a joint operation by US and Thai authorities, two US dealers were convicted in a case that in 2014 resulted in the Bowers Museum in Southern California returning 542 ancient vases, bowls, and other artifacts to Thailand. They were among the looted objects the museum acquired from disgraced Los Angeles-based dealer Jonathan Markell and his wife Cari.
Also private collectors are beginning to see that there are ethical issues involved with holding objects that may have been removed improperly. The article reports on the viooluntary return of objects by private individuals, the first involves US citizen Lisette Christiansen, who inherited ancient Thai artifacts from her late father-in-law, and the second a US-based Thai physician who apparently volunteered to return 38 prehistoric artifacts.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.