Unless a clear and legitimate case
for its removal is documented, it
should be returned to its country
It should only be returned if the
country of origin will respect and
care for it, no matter what intent
the piece was created for.
Unless the item was removed from
the country legally and the provenance can be verified, archaeological and historic artifacts should be
returned to the country of origin.
Ancient art and artifacts more
rightfully belong to the people of
the world, not just the country they
were dug up in, and should be preserved for all people.
On one hand, the heritage of mankind should be shared by all. On the
other, my respect for the culture,
history and sense of place has me
thinking that artifacts should be
returned. I think it’s best to return
them to their place of origin.
Wherever [the art] will be safe.
Some extremists in the Middle East
are systematically destroying antiquities that do not agree with their
I think historical artifacts should be
shared, maybe even rotated. Many
people don’t get the chance to
travel, and museums are a resource
of still getting that firsthand experience with foreign items.
No. It’s a good way for people to
learn about other cultures, and the
history of other places.
—Richard A. Smith
I feel an artwork’s safety is more
important than it being in the country where it came from.
Of course they should be returned.
Imagine the outcry if foreign museums were full of artifacts plundered
from Westminster Abbey, etc.
Should art and artifacts
be returned to the
country of origin?
FOR AS LONG as humans have been creating works of art and
artifacts, those works have often ended up in foreign lands, due
to theft, sale or archaeological expeditions. Some say museums
provide scientific research on these precious items, along with
a venue that allows more people to view them. Others claim the
country of origin has the right to possess its own cultural artifacts
and house them in museums there.
What do you think?
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC.
On the internet, search:
• Does history suffer when cultural artifacts are returned?
• Who’s right? Repatriation of cultural property
• Museums and looted art: the ethical dilemma of preserving world cultures