Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who Owns the Past?

In this April 21 article on YaleGlobal OnLine, James Cuno makes a compelling argument for the reframing of ownership of antiquities. Rather than being considered the property of nation states -- which come and go over time, sometimes give rise to sectarian violence and often fail to protect the heritage in their trust -- antiquities should be considered the property of all humanity.

Heritance embraces the perspective expressed by Cuno when he wrote: "An understanding that ancient and living cultures belong to all of us could contribute to greater respect for the differences among us and serve as a counterargument to the call for cultural purity that flames sectarian violence."

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