Wednesday 31 March 2010

The Welsh Rosetta Stone? "Y Gymuned Ffyliaid Ebrill" and Repatriation

Just to show that it is not just third world "source countries" which may be accused of "cultural property nationalism" David Gill ("Call for Bluestones to return to Pembrokeshire") draws attention to a breaking news story that seems analagous to the controversy currently being whipped up over the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Marbles, activists from the aptly-named "Y Gymuned Ffyliaid Ebrill" has called for the symbolic return of one of the bluestones from Salisbury Plain and is sending a delegate to the upcoming Cairo conference on the restitution of cultural property removed from its country of origin. Meanwhile a group of Dolmen enthusiasts is opposing the move and argues that now the stones are removed from their original context, they should stay in their new home where they can be appreciated in the context of the other elements gathered together at this spot in the past. It is this new assemblage which, they argue, is important - rather than the place from which the objects were removed. This story seems worth watching for the drama played out within what is still a United Kingdom may well give insights into the battle over the movement of cultural property across national borders about which there is so much ongoing debate these days. Thanks David for bringing our attention to this weighty (pun intended) issue.

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