UK REJECTION OF RESTITUTION OF ARTEFACTS: CONFIRMATION OR SURPRISE?
‘’Truth must be repeated constantly because the error is being repeatedly preached round about all the time, and not just by a few, but by the masses. In the periodicals and encyclopaedias, in schools and universities, everywhere error prevails, being confident and comfortable in the feeling that it has the majority on its side.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.’’ (1)
The United Kingdom Secretary for Culture is reported as having declared: “Never mind the argument about who owns this thing, let’s argue about how it gets to be seen”. (2) Mr Jeremy Wright whose pronouncements on other subjects have caused surprise made this statement in response to The Times with respect to the debate on the restitution of looted artefacts. The Minister argued that if artefacts were returned to their countries of origin, there would be no one place where one could see multiple objects:‘ if you followed the logic of restitution to its logical conclusion, according to Wright, there would be ‘no single points where people can see multiple things’ Wright also stated that the United Kingdom would not modify its laws to enable restitution of cultural artefacts to the various countries.
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