Museum exhibits - stolen artifacts?
  • Sampath, museums are legally obligated to give the history, i am nto sure of the origins of such a brazen article but i do know it is the law and it is also combined with the fact that anything over 100 years belongs to any country even if it was plundered or looted.

    Will surely get back to you on this,

  • I have posted the US Laws on Museum art as given by Metropolitan museum in the states. I have a log in and so not able to post the link.

    Just fyi clarifiying further L'

    1 The original statement was ALL museum art is looted which is completely false.
    2 There are controversies all the time, and will continue on art esp that over 100 years and where it belongs.
    3 As I said before - much of indian art atleast is preserved in western museums with greatest respect and in much better condition than in the parent country - what would you prefer?

  • Here is one more link of stolen art returned
  • Sampath, Ok, i will take your side of the argument and let us assume ALL museum collections are looted. Let us also assume all that is somehow restored to India. What guarantee do you have that it will be maintained even 10 percent as well as it is abroad? How many temple treasures and works of art are languishing in temples and poorly maintained homes? How many can afford the scientific treatments needed to keep ancient documents and works of art in place? Sometime ago somenoe even posted a link on how Saraswati Mahal is struggling for funds to keep up the treasured artifacts intact.

    There are loopholes in every law and every process. The 100 year old law of taking art work out of any country is also a highly debatable one. But nevertheless it exists.

    To accuse every museum in every part of the world of 'loot' (with the assumption that we need it back and we will keep it) is writing off our treasures for good. Please try to appreciate the effort and respect with which these are maintained, regardless of which part of the world that is.

  • What about the one on top of the British crown, now that we are behind all that was looted, lets get that too ;-)
    Museum la vecha thaan thirudu pona propertya?
  • Where did I say that all museum collections are looted. I started with
    this statement -" Some of the museum stuff is definitely obtained by
    unethical means, knowingly or unknowingly from looters, smugglers,
    carted off by zealous archaeologists as trophies or for financial
    The second part is really tricky and unethical. The argument "You can't
    maintain it, so we seize it and display it in a glass case or exchange
    it or sell it for profit as we have appropriated ownership" is difficult
    to swallow. One can stretch the argument " you parents are poor and
    can't take care of your children; so we will take them to US/UK and
    provide the best environment, but the child is legally ours."

    The solution is to provide financial/technical support to the
    nation/family to bridge the gap to keep the resources.
    Will the museums transfer the ownership and take the exhibits on lease
    on payment after adjusting for preservation and maintenance?
    If finders become keepers and become owners after 100 years is
    international law, then the law needs revision.
    There was a news item that most of the Iraqui treasures vanished
    during/after the attack. We have to wait to know their fate!
    This is my view!
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was given a tremendous collection
    by the Sri Lankan, Ananda Coomaraswamy. Who knows how he obtained his
    holdings? What saddens me, is that most are in the basement
    storeroom. . .
    I really must ask to see them. Many early Mathura images are here in
    Massachusetts. Isn't that surprising?
    The West is happy to have them, and has the facilities to keep them in
    temp-controlled facillites. Should we send them back to, say, India
    Museum, Kolkata; or to previously called Prince Albert Museum, Mumbai?
    What do you think?
  • are you referring to the Koh-i-Noor?
    stolen from the last Punjab Maharaja, Ranjit Singhji?


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