Should the original owner or community be found and the object repatriated? Or is it in some cases better if it remains in a museum? How did museums acquire these works? And who were and are the people who deal illicitly in art, heritage, and human remains?

In this lecture, dr. Naomi Oosterman talks about the illicit trade in cultural objects using famous examples such as the Parthenon Marbles and the Turquoise Skull. Many museums were created in the 19th century with the ideal of displaying the beauties of the world and establishing the superiority of Europeans. But this is viewed differently today; objects are often obtained in (neo)colonial contexts and now reclaimed. But what if the original owner or community cannot be found? Or if it does not end up at all in the hands of the community to whom it belongs, but in those of an (oppressive) government? Who is the rightful owner? How does provenance research work? And what does the illicit trade in cultural objects look like today?

Dr. Naomi Oosterman is Assistant Professor of Cultural Heritage at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). She researches illicit trade in cultural goods with a specific focus on Latin America. She also deals with issues of colonial heritage and decolonization.

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Date: Tuesday 21 May 2024
Time: 16:00-17:30 hrs. (Doors open 15:45 hrs.)
Location: Theil CT-6 (basement)
Moderation: Lenya Slierendrecht

Entrance: Free, reservations highly recommended

This lecture is organized by Studium Generale.