All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume VI, 2007

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Many artifacts which comprise private and museum collections today were possibly stolen from their country of origin and illegally smuggled into the country in which they now reside. In the late eighteenth century, the global powers of England and France exercised their authority over less powerful countries, such as Greece and Egypt, by exporting those countries’ traditional artifacts. Now, the governments of the less dominant countries no longer dismiss the pieces as useless artifacts, but view them as valuable cultural objects. The number of countries attempting to regain possession of lost artifacts from private and museum collections was recently increased. The archetypal case of the repatriation of looted art is the controversy over the sculptures of the Parthenon, better known as the “Elgin Marbles.” The sculptures have been located in the British Museum in London for the past 200 years and the Greek government is continually requesting the marble sculptures to be returned. By closely examining this specific issue and similar cases, I present an in-depth portrait of the trend for the repatriation of looted artifacts.