International Journal of Cultural Policy | VOL. 28
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Examining restitution and repatriation options for cultural artefacts: an empirical enquiry in South Africa

Publication Date Jul 29, 2022

Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper examines some of the ethical issues and repatriation options related to the return of museum artefacts taken from African countries, mostly during the colonial era. In the context of a relatively new democracy, like South Africa, determining the value of cultural artefacts held in foreign collections, and thus the urgency and priority of their repatriation, may be important. Using a value-based approach, this paper details the design and results of an empirical enquiry into a range of repatriation and restitution options intended to affect the return of cultural artefacts to South Africa. An invited online survey and focus group approach was deployed to investigate attitudes, experiences and the nature of the demand for repatriation, amongst South African museum curators and collection managers. Findings showed that acceptable repatriation options depend crucially on the class of artefacts being discussed, as well as the values being sought.

Concepts

Class Of Artefacts Focus Group Approach Value-based Approach South Africa Cultural Artefacts Collection Managers South African Collection Online Focus Group African Countries Colonial Era

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