Perspectives on Art Restitution and Repatriation:


A flow chart illustrating the nebulous problem of repatriation of cultural property.

Not everyone is convinced that repatriation is fair, and for that matter, legal. Question of statutes of limitation have been raised since the early 1990s. This section of the pathfinder identifies and offers scholarly opinions on the subject. A common question that is raised is why countries need an item back if they already posses a plethora of that item. These specific case studies listed give the researcher different perspectives of the concept of repatriation.

Journal Article:  Roehrenbeck, Carol A. “Repatriation of Cultural Property–Who Owns the Past? An Introduction to Approaches and to Selected Statutory Instruments.” International Journal of Legal Information 38.2 (2010): 185-200.

This article serves to provide the reader with a background on the topic of cultural repatriation. It gives very specific dates as to when repatriation became a global issue and the organizations that are at the forefront of the discussion.

Editorial: Rosenthal, Sir Norman. “The Time has come for a Statute of Limitations.” The Art Newspaper 197 (11 Dec 2008).

The author of this article, a former museum director, argues that there should be a statute of limitations on stolen cultural items from other countries. Also helpful are the comments at the bottom that propose challenges, with evidence against the author’s claims.

Journal Article: Woodward, Colin. “The War Over Plunder: Who Owns Art Stolen in War?.” MHQ: Quarterly Journal Of Military History 22.4 (2010): 44-48.

Discusses ethical and moral aspects of stolen art and cultural property through history, examples of restitution, and how repatriation eventually occurred.

Journal Article: Goodwin, Paige S. “Mapping the Limits of Repatriable Cultural Heritage: A Case Study of Stolen Flemish Art in French Museums.”University of Pennsylvania Law Review 157.2 (Dec., 2008): 673-705.

A case study of stolen Flemish art in French museums. Also challenges repatriation actions and suggests that there should be limits on what can be returned and after how long. This WorldCat search also reveals other relevant articles about the subject of repatriation.


One thought on “Perspectives on Art Restitution and Repatriation:

  1. Pingback: The Monuments Men Pathfinder | the monuments men pathfinder

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