February 12, 2024
Establishment of advisory group on the repatriation of cultural heritage ‘welcomed’ – Senator Fintan Warfield

Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the first meeting of an advisory group on the restitution of cultural heritage.
 
The advisory group will prepare guidelines on the restitution of cultural objects that may have been illegally or unethically elicited or traded.

Senator Warfield said:
 
“Since 2017, I have called on the Government to develop a policy on the repatriation of cultural heritage.
 
“I am delighted that the Department of Culture has moved from initially dismissing our calls, to now setting up an advisory group.
 
“Museums in Europe are packed with collections, objects, and artefacts that have imperialist and colonial origins. These ethnographic collections consist of items of human activity; including, but not limited to, art and sculpture, weapons, clothing, jewellery, tools, and decorations.
 
“The National Museum of Ireland is home to around 11,000 objects and artefacts that form part of a non-European ethnographic collection acquired between 1760 and 1914.
 
“Where cultural heritage was identifiably taken through theft, plunder, deception, colonial practices, or other unethical methods – it should be returned to its place of origin.
 
“This is a complex area, and that is why I very much welcome the establishment of this advisory group.”

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