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Contested Collections: Grappling With History and Forging Pathways for Repatriation

A virtual symposium to examine the complicated histories of cultural heritage collections, the expropriation of artifacts through colonialism and looting, the ethics of ownership and restitution, and decolonization in libraries, archives, and museums.

Entangled Collections: Colonial Histories and the Ethics of Ownership and Stewardship 

May 18, 2022, 9-10:30am PDT



Benin bronze / Photo credit: Matt Neale (CC BY-SA 2.0)


This session will provide an overview of the global history of colonialism and its outsized role in the development of cultural heritage collections, particularly in the Western world. Using examples of repatriation to Africa and Southeast Asia, panelists will discuss the ethics of ownership and stewardship, the fight by formerly-colonized countries to reclaim their heritage, and what constitutes full restitution. 



Moderator: Susan Slyomovics, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, UCLA

Session Recording