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Toward Repatriation of Human Remains as a Postcolonial Museum Practice

The Return of Toi Moko from France to Aotearoa New Zealand

Simon Jean-Nabbache

On 10 January 2022, the French Senate adopted a proposed law on the circulation and return of cultural objects owned by public collections (Sénat 2022). This may be considered the first step toward repatriation legislation. This law needs to be analyzed, voted on, and possibly amended by the National Assembly before it comes back to the Senate and is finally approved. Assuming the law will be finally voted in, this will be a milestone in the process of clarifying the role and the status of human remains in museums collections.

Open access


Anthropologies of Forensic Expertise in the Aftermath of Mass Violence

Zahira Aragüete-Toribio

also, however, become a powerful technology of inquiry and identification, aimed at reuniting survivors with the human remains of those who were tortured, murdered and disappeared, and those who went missing in the course of war and other repressive

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Healing through Heritage?

The Repatriation of Human Remains from European Collections as Potential Sites of Reconciliation

Carsten Wergin

This contribution explores the potential of restitution projects as places of transcultural encounter and healing. It draws on ethnographic material recorded during repatriation ceremonies for human remains that were handed back by German

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The Magic of Bureaucracy

Repatriation as Ceremony

Laura Peers

translate human remains and objects from museum specimens to forms of personhood and release them from the museum into the hands of claimant groups, but for each group they also have the same overarching functions: to articulate and maintain existing

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The Ritual Labor of Reconciliation

An Autoethnography of a Return of Human Remains

Lotten Gustafsson Reinius

handover of custody and interpretation of human remains from Sweden to Australia in 2004. The change of ownership and legal stewardship included a transfer of ritual agency and right of interpretation to the claimants. Still, as a ceremonial whole, the

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Decolonisation Matters

Patrícia Ferraz de Matos and Livio Sansone

museums, where the hot issue of repatriation of artefacts and human remains that were pillaged, stolen, or abusively gathered in the Third World was initiated by the 1970 UNESCO Convention against Illicit Export under the Act to implement the Convention

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Sharon Ann Holt, Sophie Kazan, Gloriana Amador, Joanna Cobley, Blaire M. Moskowitz, Elena Settimini, Angela Stienne, Anna Tulliach, and Olga Zabalueva

Exhibition Review Essays

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.

After Darkness: Social Impact and Art Institutions

Exhibition Reviews

Behind the Red Door: A Vision of the Erotic in Costa Rican Art, The Museum of Costa Rican Art, San José

“A Positive Future in Classical Antiquities”: Teece Museum, University of Canterbury, Christchurch

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Anche le Statue Muoiono: Conflitto e Patrimonio tra Antico e Contemporaneo, Museo Egizio, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Musei Reali, Turin

Rethinking Human Remains in Museum Collections: Curating Heads at UCL

Ritratti di Famiglia, the Archaeological Museum, Bologna

100% Fight – The History of Sweden, the Swedish History Museum, Stockholm

Open access

Silent Stock

On Clandestine Mass Graves and their Legacies

Élisabeth Anstett

remains of victims of mass violence in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, some of which were buried decades ago. 1 The reappearance of these hidden human remains across time raises many questions for the societies in question, as well as for the

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The Three Burials of Aslak Hætta and Mons Somby

Repatriation Narratives and Ritual Performances

Stein R. Mathisen

” of European colonialism, collections of items, art, and human remains were stockpiled in private and public ethnographic collections. Few scholars saw this practice as problematic during the most intensive period of acquisition, in contrast to the