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While the question of the return of cultural objects is by no means a new one, it has become the subject of increasingly intense debate in recent years. This important book explores the removal and the return of cultural objects from occupied communities during the last two centuries and analyses the concurrent evolution of international cultural heritage law.
The book focuses on the significant influence exerted by British, U.S. and Australian governments and museums on international law and museum policy in response to restitution claims. It shows that these claims, far from heralding the long-feared dissolution of museums and their collections, provide museums with a vital, new role in the process of self-determination and cultural identity. Compelling and thought-provoking throughout, this book is essential reading for archaeologists, international lawyers and all those involved in cultural resource management.