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  1. #1
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Default Who Owns History?

    What do you think of the various debates currently going on about the reappropriation and repatriation of historical artefacts?

    One famous example would be the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum: Video I somehow can't embed

    And Turkey is currently reclaiming a lot of artifacts "lost" under the Ottoman reign:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-845159.html

    But this also concerns Egypt and India and many, many other countries. It isn't really a black and white issue and I don't have a ready answer.

    I am mainly interested in questions like: how old would claims have to be to become irrelevant? What responsibility does a modern nation carry for acts of previous generations made under duress (occupation, colonialism, dictatorship, etc)? Would you distinguish between legal and moral claims? If so, why and how? What role should a country's ability to properly take care of an artifact play? What role should it play how many people can access an artifact at different places? When does an artifact stop "belonging" to one nation/culture and become universal heritage? What does it imply if an artifact is in fact universal heritage?

    But any input on this admittedly slightly nerdy topic is welcome!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  2. #2

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    I do.

  3. #3

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    Bitches.

  4. #4
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Well, I said any input was welcome.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  5. #5
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Default

    Heh. I was going to answer "who doesn't?", but I like Lark's answer better.

    Seriously, I have no objective criteria to contribute; you raise very good questions, and I typically go by my gut or intuition on this matter (which naturally means there is an unconscious bias towards whatever answer will maximize my chances of seeing historical artifacts I care about).

  6. #6
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    It's all politics.
    The ones who have the power get to write history and, incidentally, define the parameters.
    Germans and russians are evul, americans are the promoters of world peace.
    etc

  7. #7
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Default

    I think all the different directions need to lean back towards medium. Err on the side of moderation and lenience.

    If a nation has been missing an item for 100's of years, they should be a bit more willing to let it go.

    If a nation has possessed someone else's item for 100's of years, they should be a bit more willing to give it back if it's still asked for.

    Having a chance to meet somewhere in the middle is usually better than polarizing.

  8. #8
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    It's all politics.
    The ones who have the power get to write history and, incidentally, define the parameters.
    Germans and russians are evul, americans are the promoters of world peace.
    etc
    There is probably a lot of truth to that, but I don't see how it relates to the topic at hand. Could you explain?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  9. #9
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    There is probably a lot of truth to that, but I don't see how it relates to the topic at hand. Could you explain?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Well, I said any input was welcome.

    Roughly, whoever has power is able to determine whether or not something has international relevance and make seemingly impartial decisions with its best interests in perspective. Like you said, things aren't black and white, so there's a loophole to be exploited.

  10. #10
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." (Josef Stalin)

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