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To The Victor Go The Spoils???

Keeping Their Marbles: How the Treasures of the Past Ended Up in Museums - And Why They Should Stay There - Tiffany Jenkins

An exhaustingly long look at a phenomenon affecting modern museums today, that of repatriation of artifacts removed from their "homes" and stored in museums around the world. Over the course of centuries, whether by colonization, thoughts of preservation, or outright theft, antiquities have been removed from their original locations and stored/warehoused/displayed elsewhere. Should they have been taken? What about if the items in question would have been destroyed if left where they were? The author discusses the Elgin Marbles", a group of marble statues removed from Greece long ago, where they were being ground into mortar. The busts would be, literally, in the "dustbin" of history if they had not been removed. Should they be returned now? Where does the right of possession lie?
And, as in all things, there is a financial consideration. Artifacts draw large numbers of people to museums, bringing in much needed funds.
The author points out that museums are experiencing confusion over how they should proceed. Return the items (where they may never see the light of day again), or keep them (where they can serve as an educational tool to many people)?
To find out the author's opinions, you'll have to read the book yourself.
It is a very interesting study.

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