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Antiquities Wars: a Conversation

This Wednesday (November 19, 2008) the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU will be hosting an event: "Antiquities Wars: A Conversation About Loot and Legitimacy".

The "conversation" will be between:
  • Sharon Waxman, former New York Times correspondent, author of the newly released Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World.
  • James Cuno, director of the Art Institute of Chicago and author of Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage.
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah, Princeton Philosophy Professor, author Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers.
  • Daniel Shapiro, an attorney specializing in art law and the president emeritus of the International Cultural Property Society.
Here are some relevant links to my comments on three of these speakers:
For more on the "Antiquities Wars":
There are still outstanding issues from the claims made by Italy and Greece:

Comments

DR.KWAME OPOKU said…
I am disappointed that people continue to use the term "antiquities wars". We are not involved in any war but in a dispute about heritage and ownership rights in an area where most of us agree that there has to be cooperation and understanding if we are to find acceptable solutions.

Many of us from the countries that have been victims of spoliations do not feel we are at war even though many from the western countries seem to think that any questioning of their right to hold onto looted/stolen cultural artefacts is a declaration of hostility.

Taking into account that many persons have died and are still dying from wars, we should refrain from any usage which might tend to reduce the atrocious nature of wars. Inverted commas do not help much in this usage which seems to be calculated to get us used to the idea that differences in beliefs and opinions are necessarily declarations of war. We can make a contribution to a culture of peace if we do not imitate military terminology.

Dr.Kwame Opoku.

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