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MUSEUMS, an HBO Presentation by John Oliver


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John Oliver's presentation MUSEUMS on HBO is highly amusing & very disconcerting at the same time. "John Oliver discusses some of the world's most prestigious museums, why they contain so many stolen goods, the market that continues to illegally trade antiquities, and a pretty solid blueprint for revenge". John Oliver is my favorite comedian, he discusses controversial topics factually with a great sense of humor. However, I must give website members a WARNING, Oliver frequently uses profanity in his broadcasts, so if you're sensitive to profanity this broadcast isn't for you. Some of his revelations are indeed shocking 😲! I see a ridiculous irony in this situation, while many countries are attempting to retrieve ancient coins from the market place, they are turning a blind eye to so many looted antiquities in museums & from the major auction houses 🙄.

 

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This is pretty funny, yet sad at the same time. I think one of the most disturbing aspects besides questionable ethics is the vast quantity of items in storage that are never displayed or enjoyed by anyone, many stored since they were acquired by the museum decades ago or longer. 

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Great video. It resonated with me because, years ago, I worked in the museum field. Though I never heard or saw anything outright incriminating, I did see and hear enough for me to question the ethics of at least parts of the field's practices and justifications. Attitudes of cultural, and social, superiority lingered everywhere. Sadly, I did hear more than one person heavily suggest that returning objects to their places of origin would mean they would "not get properly taken care of." Many people sincerely believed they were doing the right thing at the time, and, from what I could tell, they didn't act under malicious intent, but time and changing attitudes have shown some of the questionable assumptions behind at least some sections of museum collections. I only spent a few years in the field and never found my way back.

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15 hours ago, Kazuma78 said:

This is pretty funny, yet sad at the same time. I think one of the most disturbing aspects besides questionable ethics is the vast quantity of items in storage that are never displayed or enjoyed by anyone, many stored since they were acquired by the museum decades ago or longer. 

I agree ☺️! Oliver's statistic that the British Museum has 80,000 artifacts in storage & less than 1% are on display was shocking 😲.

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15 hours ago, ewomack said:

Great video. It resonated with me because, years ago, I worked in the museum field. Though I never heard or saw anything outright incriminating, I did see and hear enough for me to question the ethics of at least parts of the field's practices and justifications. Attitudes of cultural, and social, superiority lingered everywhere. Sadly, I did hear more than one person heavily suggest that returning objects to their places of origin would mean they would "not get properly taken care of." Many people sincerely believed they were doing the right thing at the time, and, from what I could tell, they didn't act under malicious intent, but time and changing attitudes have shown some of the questionable assumptions behind at least some sections of museum collections. I only spent a few years in the field and never found my way back.

I did find some of the "experts" remarks racist & arrogant while defending their theft of so many of these treasures 🙄....

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On 10/10/2022 at 3:10 PM, ewomack said:

Great video. It resonated with me because, years ago, I worked in the museum field. Though I never heard or saw anything outright incriminating, I did see and hear enough for me to question the ethics of at least parts of the field's practices and justifications. Attitudes of cultural, and social, superiority lingered everywhere. Sadly, I did hear more than one person heavily suggest that returning objects to their places of origin would mean they would "not get properly taken care of." Many people sincerely believed they were doing the right thing at the time, and, from what I could tell, they didn't act under malicious intent, but time and changing attitudes have shown some of the questionable assumptions behind at least some sections of museum collections. I only spent a few years in the field and never found my way back.

I've yet to watch the video (No, I'm interrupting WNYC's "On the Media," which is streamable directly from the website, to do exactly that), but can we just come clean about one thing?  As @ewomack said, while he was working at a museum,  "I did hear more than one person heavily suggest that returning objects to their places of origin would mean they would 'not get properly taken care of.'"   Does this involve an unmistakably racist subtext, or What?  We need to fully acknowledge the blatantly colonialist context in, and from which places like the BM acquired that much of their collections.

Here's some of an email I sent an old friend just lately.

"Anyway, here are some pictures of the royal portrait sculptures from the city and kingdom of Ife, in southern Nigeria.  Ife was the first kingdom of the Yoruba, with an origin reliably, if approximately dated to c. 800.  It was the political and religious capital until it was replaced by Oyo, to the northwest (on the frontier with the Muslim Hausa), as late as the 17th and 18th centuries.  In modern Nigeria, the Yoruba region takes up most of the southern part of the country, facing the coast; demographically, the Yoruba themselves (along with the Hausa) are one of the primary populations. 
"(Anecdotally, at the apartment I lived in before moving here, one of my neighbors was a first-generation Yoruba (from the northern part) who taught me all I ever knew about IT.  He was easily the smartest person in the building, present company emphatically included.  After the IT company he was working for went bankrupt, he wound up in the electronics department at a local Walmart.  ...Sound familiar?)
"The first, the queen and two kings, is from the British Museum --thanks to the wonders of colonial rule.

10301.jpg?v=1643362203

 

"The chronology of these is decidedly fraught.  Thank you, this pitch of realism was accomplished in a period corresponding to the Middle Ages in Europe.  ...And you'd just never guess: going back to general books on African art from the 1970s, everything I've seen dates them to around the 14th century.  ...That includes current attribution by the British Museum [whose website dates them as late as the 15th century].  It's JUST as though these people JUST COULDN'T HANDLE the notion that this wasn't done at least within loud shouting distance of the Italian Renaissance.
"Enter this book.
"(...If you were interested --and to wallow in the obvious (never stopped me before; witness some of the above)-- I can't doubt there are cheaper copies on Amazon.)
"This book actually cites radiocarbon dating of the sites where some of the sculptures were found (see esp. pp. 61, and 46 for the different periods identified).  On that empirical, scientific --For Once-- basis, the Most, Not Least naturalistic of these sculptures, and other ones in terra cotta, are dated to the 11th-12th century CE."
 
So much for artifacts being 'better cared for' by venues such as the BM.  Encouragingly, the BM, in particular, has only lately taken great strides in returning Some of its colonial plunder, conspicuously from the Yoruban part of Nigeria, and the neighboring kingdom of Benin (not the country, further to the west, whose name is attributable to immediately postcolonial, and correspondingly arbitrary revisionism) to their place of origin.
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On 10/9/2022 at 5:47 AM, Al Kowsky said:

John Oliver's presentation MUSEUMS on HBO is highly amusing & very disconcerting at the same time. "John Oliver discusses some of the world's most prestigious museums, why they contain so many stolen goods, the market that continues to illegally trade antiquities, and a pretty solid blueprint for revenge". John Oliver is my favorite comedian, he discusses controversial topics factually with a great sense of humor. However, I must give website members a WARNING, Oliver frequently uses profanity in his broadcasts, so if you're sensitive to profanity this broadcast isn't for you. Some of his revelations are indeed shocking 😲! I see a ridiculous irony in this situation, while many countries are attempting to retrieve ancient coins from the market place, they are turning a blind eye to so many looted antiquities in museums & from the major auction houses 🙄.

 

Watching the video in real time.  I need an imogee for "Goddam."  Or maybe, for the theologically animated among us, "God, Please, Damn it, Amen."

This guy's initial mention of the fact that this is continuing to our own time has to remind me of how, right now, some vast part of the refined sugar in the US originates in sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic, using the de facto slave labor of neighboring Haitians.  https://revealnews.org/podcast/the-bitter-work-behind-sugar-2022/

(Getting further into into the video:)  I don't do television, and never heard of this guy.  But he's a case study in how the best British comedians get to be that funny.  It's exactly the same principle as Richard Pryor, or Russian jokes from the Soviet era.  You get to be that funny only if you tell the truth, and don't blink.  I haven't laughed this much in a long time.

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Not a fan. His opinions on the subject are fatuous and overly simplistic. The "humor" is overworked and patronizing.

I don't think that all artifacts ought to be returned to their "country of origin". It's a complex and difficult issue. And it's not "racist" or "colonialist" to recognize that there are competing interests that have to be considered.

 

 

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On 10/11/2022 at 9:32 AM, Al Kowsky said:

I agree ☺️! Oliver's statistic that the British Museum has 80,000 artifacts in storage & less than 1% are on display was shocking 😲.

That can't be right. The British Museum has far more than 800 artifacts on display!

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If Oliver said that (I won't watch  him as  his  smugness drives me nuts) it's utterly wrong.  The British Museum fact sheet says  - "Roughly 80,000 objects are on public display at the British Museum in Bloomsbury at any one time. This is 1% of the collection, however, the displays include many of the most important items. Many objects within the collection cannot be put on permanent display because of light sensitivity."

So he (or someone) is confusing 80,000  objects on display with 80,000 objects in total. There are  8 million items in total.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Deinomenid said:

If Oliver said that (I won't watch  him as  his  smugness drives me nuts) it's utterly wrong.  The British Museum fact sheet says  - "Roughly 80,000 objects are on public display at the British Museum in Bloomsbury at any one time. This is 1% of the collection, however, the displays include many of the most important items. Many objects within the collection cannot be put on permanent display because of light sensitivity."

So he (or someone) is confusing 80,000  objects on display with 80,000 objects in total. There are  8 million items in total.

 

 

 

I've never been to the British Museum & have no plans to see it anytime soon, but Oliver is a Brit who has been to the museum. Regardless how many items are on display, the gist of his monologue is the BM & many other museums possess items that were obtained illicitly & have fake manufactured provenances. 

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The function of a good museum is more than just putting things in a building for people to pay to walk around. Research, conservation, documentation, collaboration, furthering the knowledge of our shared human heritage etc. are just some of the reasons museums have existed for millennia across different cultures all over the world. The British museum makes a lot of its objects available through online resources that anyone anywhere in the world can use. Anyone who’s ever seen a stack of BMC books on a shelf should recognize that this has been the case for over a century.

Moral of the story... don’t look to a comedian for balance, nuance or objectivity on issues. That is not what they are even trying for... they are trying to make people laugh!

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On 10/23/2022 at 9:02 PM, CPK said:

Not a fan. His opinions on the subject are fatuous and overly simplistic. The "humor" is overworked and patronizing.

I don't think that all artifacts ought to be returned to their "country of origin". It's a complex and difficult issue. And it's not "racist" or "colonialist" to recognize that there are competing interests that have to be considered.

 

 

@CPK,  "fatuous and overly simplistic"?  "The 'humor' is overworked and patronizing"?

Explain.

To circle back to @Al Kowsky's observation a couple of posts above, this guy's main point (right, I don't do television) was the fact that this stuff was looted, and can be better interpreted, appreciated, and even conserved in its various places of origin, whether Greece, Nigeria, North America, or Southeast Asia.  

If he got the arithmetic wrong on how much of the BM collection is kept in storage, that was peripheral to his primary emphasis.  Meanwhile, I don't think you can argue with the footage of Native Americans, looking at their cultural (/cosmological, religious, etc.) relics, labelled, bandaided and stored in boxes in the cellar of some American museum. 

On that level (and yes, there's some irony happening here; best I could do, rhetorically), it really feels a little like finding your grandmother's body displayed under glass.

If you're really that incapable of acknowledging of how this registers, on a subjective level, I really can't help you.  Except that that was what the last part of the segment was about.  If that didn't penetrate, maybe we're just done.

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10 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

@CPK,  "fatuous and overly simplistic"?  "The 'humor' is overworked and patronizing"?

Explain.

To circle back to @Al Kowsky's observation a couple of posts above, this guy's main point (right, I don't do television) was the fact that this stuff was looted, and can be better interpreted, appreciated, and even conserved in its various places of origin, whether Greece, Nigeria, North America, or Southeast Asia.  

If he got the arithmetic wrong on how much of the BM collection is kept in storage, that was peripheral to his primary emphasis.  Meanwhile, I don't think you can argue with the footage of Native Americans, looking at their cultural (/cosmological, religious, etc.) relics, labelled, bandaided and stored in boxes in the cellar of some American museum. 

On that level (and yes, there's some irony happening here; best I could do, rhetorically), it really feels a little like finding your grandmother's body displayed under glass.

If you're really that incapable of acknowledging of how this registers, on a subjective level, I really can't help you.  Except that that was what the last part of the segment was about.  If that didn't penetrate, maybe we're just done.

J.Acre, You couldn't have chosen a better metaphor than the Native Americans reaction to seeing their sacred objects bandied about like mere curiosities ☺️!

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18 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

@CPK,  "fatuous and overly simplistic"?  "The 'humor' is overworked and patronizing"?

Explain.

To circle back to @Al Kowsky's observation a couple of posts above, this guy's main point (right, I don't do television) was the fact that this stuff was looted, and can be better interpreted, appreciated, and even conserved in its various places of origin, whether Greece, Nigeria, North America, or Southeast Asia.  

If he got the arithmetic wrong on how much of the BM collection is kept in storage, that was peripheral to his primary emphasis.  Meanwhile, I don't think you can argue with the footage of Native Americans, looking at their cultural (/cosmological, religious, etc.) relics, labelled, bandaided and stored in boxes in the cellar of some American museum. 

On that level (and yes, there's some irony happening here; best I could do, rhetorically), it really feels a little like finding your grandmother's body displayed under glass.

If you're really that incapable of acknowledging of how this registers, on a subjective level, I really can't help you.  Except that that was what the last part of the segment was about.  If that didn't penetrate, maybe we're just done.

 

John Oliver's ideas on this (and many other) topics are fatuous and overly simplistic in that they refuse to acknowledge that there are legitimate, competing interests at play. The British Museum is not entirely in the wrong and the "countries of origin" aren't entirely in the right. The British Museum also has legitimate claims on objects and should not be obligated to empty its storage out just because another country wants an artifact that was taken 150 years ago. There is a little bit of "statute of limitations" at play here, in my opinion.

It's not to say that the initial looting was morally okay. But consider: 100 years ago, who was best equipped to preserve, study, document, and care for the artifacts? Probably not the African native tribes. Probably not even Greece or Italy. In many cases, the British saved, by looting, what would otherwise have fallen into ruin and decay. We may not like it, but it's historical fact. Again, I'm not condoning looting then or now, and today it's a different story in that many of these countries are now capable of caring for artifacts. Still, this does not mean (IMO) that the British Museum has an obligation now to release objects that have been in their possession for a century or more.

And also, mere ability to properly care for an artifact isn't enough to guarantee its safety and preservation. There are plenty of countries who may be capable of properly caring for an artifact, but suffer from such political instability that makes it inadvisable (from the viewpoint of artifact preservation) to return a valuable artifact. Obviously, it would have been extremely unwise to have returned an ancient Sumerian artifact to Iraq when the country was being overrun by ISIS, for example.

Again, there's an argument to be made both ways and I'm not saying it's all cut-and-dried. But it's important to acknowledge that there are other interests at play.

I didn't see the footage of Native Americans that you speak of (I did not watch the video in its entirety), but I guess I'd say a couple things: first, I'm not saying that there is never a case for returning cultural artifacts (and without knowing the case here, I can't say one way or another); and second, that the Native Americans are by no means unique in having some of their cultural artifacts locked in storage like that. In fact, I would venture to guess that of all the artifacts stored in museum cellars, those of the Native Americans is probably a minority.

I consider John Oliver's humor to be overworked and patronizing because I am tired of hearing how everything bad is the fault of white/colonialism/Western culture/civilization. It's a lopsided and erroneous view of history and unfortunately, it's become very prevalent in many areas (I don't want to get into politics, so I'll leave it at that.)

@JeandAcre I respect you and your opinions. You asked me to explain so I tried.

-Connor

 

 

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Many thanks, Connor, both for your content and predictable, but no less cordially welcome tone.  And I can neither be surprised by, nor disrespect, people who hold views on this subject which have not only prevailed, but been articulated for generations.

I heartily approve of your somewhat implicit, but no less evident and, as such, nuanced point that the ability to "preserve, study, document, and care for the artifacts" includes a dimension of the merely material capacity to do some of these things.  On that level, we can all breathe a little easier, since these dynamics frankly aren't reducible, en masse, to the cultural sphere ...with all the immediate, and fraught implications of cultural superiority. 

...But more specifically, in terms of the artifacts' study and documentation --with the inexorably pursuant facet of interpretation-- I'm less than impressed.  As noted in my post from Sunday, above, the bronzes of Ife provide a demonstrable, as such glaring example of the opposite.  From actual radio-carbon dating of the sites where some of them have been found, the most, not least naturalistic of the Ife bronzes have been securely dated to the 11th-12th centuries CE.  (Cf. the book cited above.)  To this day, the BM perpetuates the manifestly inaccurate date range --ubiquitous, if you go back to sources from the 1970's-- of the 14th-15th centuries.  

Similarly, objects of religious significance are found among all of the cultures John Oliver and I mentioned.  In each instance (the Yoruba of Ife emphatically included), these originate, organically, from conspicuously extensive, complex, and sophisticated cosmologies.  In these cases, I can't believe that members of the cultures themselves can't be the best equipped to provide the fullest explications of the artifacts' significance.

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Let me preface my remarks by saying there is an argument for return of cultural artifacts to the area and polity of their cultural descendants, and perhaps an even stronger argument for the return of religious artifacts.  What I find intriguing about this discussion is that the concern is itself an artifact, an intellectual artifact if you will, which is found only in a small stratum of educated persons influenced by modern Western culture, and temporally restricted to relatively recent times.  If you hold to this opinion, you are a member of a small minority, both in number and time.  

This is easily demonstrated.  Before the popularization of numismatics, the vast majority of discovered coin hoards went back into circulation or straight into the melting pot.  No one was interested in preserving the coins for their own sake, with the exceptions of a few Italian Dukes and royal collectors who preserved a trivial number of discoveries.  I have argued that without the larger market of collectors such as developed in the past two centuries, raising the price of many coins above melt value, most discovered coins would still suffer the same fate.  

I assert that the collector market has done more to preserve the world’s numismatic cultural patrimony than all the national museums combined, by a factor of a thousand.  

The ancient Romans who stripped Greece of its art and sculpture, and the Temple in Jerusalem of the menorah and religious artifacts, were acting no differently from the Greek city states who gleefully carried off the treasures of conquered rival city states.  Stripping and appropriating the riches of the vanquished has been standard operating procedure and morally licit right up to the present day.  If you disagree, you hold a minority opinion.  After the Soviet Union suffered and prevailed in the Second World War, they stripped occupied Germany of everything they could carry.  Is that unjust?  The Nazis had done the same.  I do not hold up any of these groups as moral exemplars but merely to illustrate that the idea of returning cultural artifacts to their origins is an idea that would not have occurred to any one but a modern Westerner.  Post-Christian philosophies like Communism would not have supported the notion of returning looted churches to the Orthodox Church, any more than modern Turkey returning Hagia Sophia.  Here is a coin celebrating the appropriation of the church as a mosque.  As you can see, it is quite recent.  image.jpeg.a23c084b1179f219244df0a674261219.jpeg

This building was under Byzantine control for over 8 centuries, and Turkish control for almost 6 centuries.  Does anyone have a superior moral claim to it?  What about the fact that some of the marble construction material was stripped from pagan temples in what is now Syria and Egypt?  Strip out the marble and send it back to Syria?  If not, why not?

Which raises the last important point.  If we send cultural treasures “back” to whom should we send them?  Who are the true descendants of the Lydians?   Should we send all British Celtic coins “back” to Wales, since the Welsh are the true cultural remnant of the British Celtic tribes?  Does an aureus of Julian struck in Lugdunum go back to Italy, because Julian was a Roman emperor, and the inscription and cultural milieu were Latin, after all? Or should it go to France, a country which never existed in Julian’s time.  Is Britain ready to return all the Catholic church buildings and monasteries confiscated by Henry VIII to the Catholic Church?  At least as good a case can be made for that, as returning 8th century era museum exhibits to modern African countries.  Why one, and not the other?

The disbursement of cultural artifacts, including coins, throughout the world amongst museums and collectors has been critical to their preservation.  Modern Western culture places great value on such things but many cultures both past and present do not.  

 

 

 

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Thanks for the link (and a little laugh too)! With these kinds of shows, I always take in the message with a bit of salt. Issues may be showns exagerated, because, well, it's a show. But the underlying message is very interesting though. 

On 10/29/2022 at 5:39 PM, Hrefn said:

Which raises the last important point.  If we send cultural treasures “back” to whom should we send them?  Who are the true descendants of the Lydians?   Should we send all British Celtic coins “back” to Wales, since the Welsh are the true cultural remnant of the British Celtic tribes?  Does an aureus of Julian struck in Lugdunum go back to Italy, because Julian was a Roman emperor, and the inscription and cultural milieu were Latin, after all? Or should it go to France, a country which never existed in Julian’s time.  Is Britain ready to return all the Catholic church buildings and monasteries confiscated by Henry VIII to the Catholic Church?  At least as good a case can be made for that, as returning 8th century era museum exhibits to modern African countries.  Why one, and not the other?

 

And this is what I think is contrary to the underlying message. The examples shown in this show surely won't lead to a discussion who the 'owners' should be. And if you use arguments like this, it's too easy to ignore those issues, only because of other artifacts it's impossible to locate the current 'owners'. Why not simply return the obvious (numerous) cases? I simply do not understand why any sane person argues that those things rightfully are owned by a museum (some did in the show though, but those people were clearly insane) that looted them, or bought them as loot, not that long ago. Worried about the way they will be treated? Well, that's not your concern in the first place! You want to study them? Buy a ticket to Nigeria, and study them there. Affraid there wont be anything left on display in European museums? Well, first, bullocks, second, maybe, just maybe, if you act nicely, they will lend you them. But most importantly; it's other peoples heiritage, culture, history. The only right thing to do, is to let them decide what to do with the artifacts. 

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1 hour ago, Limes said:

But most importantly; it's other peoples heiritage, culture, history.

Here speaking in the context of Graeco-roman heritage:


How do you define this though? 

In the case of the British Museum and the Elgin marbles, there weren’t any “greeks” until the 19th century. Those people today who identify as greek in fact saw themselves as Rhōmaîoi (romans) until western perspectives forced those people to change their identity. So as not to compete with the west’s claim of “Roman inheritance”, the greeks adopted a Hellenistic identity so the west would be more comfortable supporting them in their war of independence against the Turk. Do the people who weren’t even Greeks two centuries ago really have any claim on the cultural artifacts of the ancients greeks, an entirely separate and long since vanished people? 

It’s laughable that modern peoples claim with a straight face any kind of ethnic connection to the distant past. Nationalists and other people who think the nation states of today have ethnic ties to the ancient civilizations of the past would do well to study the many migrations, invasions, and dissettlements of all people across the centuries.

Ethnic arguments mostly dismissed, the idea that a people might be the sole inheritors of a culture is silly. Can any one country claim to be the direct and only heir of any ancient civilization? How then can we allot their artifacts back to only one country? The British Museum may have taken greek artifacts from the ottoman empire - but that is because they were allowed to do so and met no resistance. Why should the local Orthodox Christian Romans care about the pagan statuary of a distant and other people? They did not and so they British were able to take them. Just because the attitude and perspectives of the lands who gave up these artifacts has changed doesn’t justify their return. Modern fictional fantasies which promote certain ideologies about nation states don’t change the reality of historical cultural appreciation and validation. 

The only two institutions with direct and unbroken cultural ties to the ancient greeks and romans are the Roman Catholic Church and the patriarchates of the East. If grounds for returning objects are made on “unbroken” lines of succession, when will the treasures of the ancient world be returned to these institutions?

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It's easy to appreciate the fact that, as wide-ranging as these issues have gotten in this discussion, they admit of commensurately numerous layers of nuance.  Along with several people's more recent explications of the same

I do think, though, that the more extreme cases admit of less ambiguity.   In the contexts of Native American religious artefacts, and medieval Yoruban royal ones, the polities they came from have been in continuous existence for the entire interval.  Native Americans are practicing their traditional religions as we speak, and the Yoruban region of Nigeria is littered with small kingdoms, presided over by lineal descendants of the original kings and queens.   Beyond which, I have to draw a line between earlier conflicts in Europe and Asia, and the added dimension of modern colonialism as practiced both in (or, better, on) North America and West Africa.  The distinctions one can make are nuanced in themselves, but as such, I don't think it makes them less significant. 

 

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Another large consideration involves whether someone, or a culture or a political entity, actually wants something back and has a rightful claim to it. The second part of that consideration will obviously vary by incident and will probably not form consistent criteria applicable to all cases. Cases will likely arise in which the claim doesn't hold and the object remains in place, but some cases, such as the Native American and Yoruba cases mentioned above, seem pretty clear cut. Extreme cases, such as the types often used in counter arguments against returning anything, likely won't hold any water and probably won't arise in reality anyway. Could someone ask for the return of stones from Hagia Sophia? Sure. Will they get very far? That seems very unlikely. But that doesn't dismiss the issue in general. The principle at question here isn't "give everything back without question," but "has someone asked for it back and/or does a good case exist for giving it back?" Again, that second question will vary greatly in application. As to coins, some cases might hold and some cases might not. I don't think any blanket criteria could possibly apply to every possible case.

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