From Rebecca J. Dobkins (Secretary, Council for Museum Anthropology):

“Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce”
Salem, Oregon: October 12-14, 2006


The 2003 looting of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad generated international discussion about the law and policies of cultural heritage management. How can we protect archaeological sites and museums against looters? Is there a way to curb the illegal trade in stolen art and artifacts? How can we resolve national and international disputes about the repatriation of human remains and artifacts that were displaced as the result of war, genocide, colonization and commerce? Should cultural treasures such as the Elgin marbles or the Benin bronzes be repatriated, and should the 9,000-year-old “Kennewick Man” skeleton be studied by scientists or be reburied?

This conference, open to the public, brings together archaeologists, legal scholars, art historians, museum curators and experts from the FBI and U.S. State Department to debate these questions. More than two dozen internationally recognized experts from Australia, Canada, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Nigeria and the United States will engage the audience in a critical dialogue about the legal and ethical dimensions of cultural heritage issues.

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