The Legalities of Antiquities

Sneha Sikand on Asia Society’s panel discussion on collecting Ancient Art

New York: The Asia Society recently conducted a panel discussion on collecting antiquities in the 21st century. The panelists consisted of curators, museum experts, university professors, an attorney specializing in art law, and even a former special agent at the department of Homeland Security on cultural property. Why exactly was a talk on Ancient Art getting attention from such a diverse yet connected group of people?

The conversation actually stemmed from the fact that Ancient Art, especially when there is no official record of it can often get stuck in the middle of legal restrictions. What are the implications when importing works from countries like China and India into USA? Has it been stolen from its rightful owner? Does the Museum have the authority to hold an important artefact? And if so, how does it actually make it through custom regulations?

The Future of the Past started as a discussion about the relevance of antiquities in current times but more importantly, it touched upon the importance of cultural property, and an effort to create some semblance of balance between organizations and people who retain these important works, and people who are actually the rightful owners.

Read an article about this discussion.

 

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Antiquities, Art

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