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Universal Museums: Flawed Thinking

I have been thinking about the December 2002 Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums. The stress of the Declaration was on repatriation and a vague distancing from the problem of looted antiquities. Several of the North American museums represented by the signatories have returned archaeological acquisitions in the wake of the Medici Conspiracy. It has been notable that James Cuno in his promotion of the encyclopedic museum has failed to address this flawed aspect of the declaration.  It was clear from last year's AIA Annual Meeting that the curator of classical antiquities at one of the signatory museums was taking great delight in showing images of a major classical bronze that has a less than clear collecting history. And that same museum has been trying to break the AAMD's position on acquisitions by some less than straightforward pieces.

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Damien Huffer said…
Raise your hand if you're surprised by this? Rest assured that my hands remain firmly on my keyboard :) Hope we can discuss future writing about this topic sometime soon.

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