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Whose Culture?: Reprint Articles

Whose Culture? has now arrived. Four of the nine main essays have appeared elsewhere:
  • Sir John Boardman, "Archaeologists, collectors and museums" = E. Robson, L. Tradwell & C. Gosden (eds.), Who Owns Objects? The ethics and politics of collecting cultural artefacts. Oxford: Oxbow, 2006. [revised and abridged] [see my 2007 comments] [see also D.W.J. Gill, review in Journal of Field Archaeology 32.1 (2007) 103-06.]
  • Kwame Antony Appiah, "Whose culture is it?" = "Whose culture is is, anyway?", New York Review of Books 53, 2 (February 9, 2006) [online] = chapter in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. [see my 2008 comments]
  • Derek Gillman, "Heritage and national treasures" = chapter in The Idea of Cultural Heritage. Leicester: Institute of Art and Law, University of Leicester, 2006.
  • John Henry Merryman, "The nation and the object" = International Journal of Cultural Property 3 (1994) 61-76. [Note not vol. 4 (1995) as cited in the bibliography and in the acknowledgments]


Some of these contributions are so old that the events of the last 15 years could not possibly be considered. Thus the many restitutions of artefacts to Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece and Italy could not be considered. Moreover, ratifications of the 1970 UNESCO Convention by States since 1994 are missing. Attentive readers will note that since Merryman prepared his contribution, the following States have ratified or accepted the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Paris, (14 November 1970): Belgium (2009), Denmark (2003), Finland (1999), France (1997), Germany (2007), Great Britain (2002), Iceland (2004), Japan (2002), Norway (2007), Sweden (2003), and Switzerland (2003). (62) The editor could have ensured that old texts written for other occasions were revised for this publication. Thus the acceptance of the 1970 Convention which Cuno does not like, cannot be properly appreciated from this book.
Readers should also look at his recent interview where he attributes to the 1970 UNESCO words which do not exist in the text of the Convention. K.Opoku, “Refusal of Intellectual Dialogue: Comments on Interview with James Cuno”
Kwame Opoku

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