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Museums and Restitution International Conference University of Manchester 8-9 July 2010

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Museums and Restitution was a two-day international conference organised by the Centre for Museology and The Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester. The conference examined the issue of restitution in relation to the changing role and authority of the museum, focussing on new ways in which these institutions are addressing the subject.

'Restitution is one of the most emotive and complex issues facing the museum world in the twenty first century. Its current high profile reflects changing global power relations and the increasingly vocal criticisms of the historical concentration of the world's heritage in the museums of the West. The 2002 Declaration of the Importance and Value of Universal Museums, which was signed by the directors of eighteen of the world's most prominent museums, pushed the subject to the forefront of debate as never before. 

Over recent years, the issue of restitution has taken on a new complexion with different processes emerging. We have seen an increasing emphasis on museums working with source communities, and with new forms of restitution other than object restitution - such as visual and knowledge restitution. The language of discussion too has changed, with the term 'reunification', for example, rather than 'repatriation' now often being used in relation to the Parthenon Marbles. The opening of New Acropolis Museum in Athens in June 2009 has added a further dimension to the debates. We are also seeing new countries gaining increasing prominence in restitution debates: for example, the official response from the government of the People's Republic of China to the Yves Saint Laurent auction of Chinese looted bronzes at Christie's in Paris in March 2009. This is a trend clearly set to continue.

This conference will bring together museum professionals and academics from a wide range of fields (including museology, archaeology, anthropology, art history and cultural policy) to share ideas on contemporary approaches to restitution from the viewpoint of museums.'

To see the programme, click here

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

- Tristram Besterman (Former Director, The Manchester Museum. Writer, adviser and mediator on museums and cultural issues)
Title of Keynote: 'Cultural equity: an ethical paradigm for the sustainable museum'

- Prof. Piotr Bienkowski (Former Deputy Director, The Manchester Museum. Cultural, heritage and museums consultant, writer and researcher and Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester)
Title of Keynote: 'Authority and the Power of Place: Exploring the Legitimacy of Authorised and Alternative Voices in the Restitution Discourse'

- Maurice Davies (Head of Policy and Communication, Museums Association)
Maurice will lead the onference closing session and discussion on Friday 9th July

Programme Panel

Registration

Standard Registration Fee: £100 (£50 per day)
Student Registration Fee: £50 (£25 per day)

Please complete the conference booking form and e-mail it as an attachment to:

Hannah Mansell at: Hannah.mansell@manchester.ac.uk

Or post it to:

Hannah Mansell,
Martin Harris Centre,
The University of Manchester,
Oxford Road,
Manchester
M13 9PL
UK
.

Tel.: + 44 (0)161 275 3319 

The conference took place at the Manchester Museum

Contact

If you have any enquiry about the conference, please contact Louise Tythacott louise.tythacott@manchester.ac.uk and Kostas Arvanitis kostas.arvanitis@manchester.ac.uk

Twitter

If you use twitter, you can follow news and share thoughts on the conference using the hashtag #mrest. See the latest tweets here

 

 

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