Search4Dev is an online library for digital documents from Dutch development organizations. This website offers quick and easy access to these documents.

Safe havens : art theft from fragile states

Document type: article
Download file(s): 138008 (160 KB)
Abstract: What can be done if the government of a fragile state or a rebel movement neglects or threatens to destroy a country’s cultural heritage? While ‘temporary’ safe havens are now accepted as a solution to the problem, many museums are refusing to return stolen pieces of art. Examples are Cambodia in the 1970s, Ethiopia in the 1980s, and more recently in Bangladesh, where mostly Islamic traders are stripping Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines, which to them are worthless. In the late 1990s, UNESCO agreed that the Afghanistan Museum in Exile, in Bubendorf, Switzerland, could act as a safe haven for Afghan cultural objects. It imposed six conditions, the most important being that the museums should return everything to Afghanistan, at a time and to an institution of UNESCO’s choosing. That time came in October 2006, when the museum closed its doors and started to prepare for the return of all objects to the Kabul Museum.
Authors: Beurden, J. van
Country: Afghanistan , Bangladesh , Cambodia , Ethiopia
Category: General
End Page: 8 + 26
Serial number: 6
ISSN: 1874-2033
Journal: The Broker
Keywords: cultural heritage , religion , illegality , trade , arts , international cooperation
Language: eng
Organization: The Broker
Year: 2008
Right: © 2008 IDP. This article has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.
Subject: Culture, Society and Religion
Start Page: 7
Title: Safe havens : art theft from fragile states