Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities

Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities

  • Professional, Legal, and Ethical Perspectives

  • Edited by Robin F. Rhodes

  • 188 pages, 5.50 x 8.50 , 13 halftones

  • Paperback | 9780268040277 | April 2008


Cultural property and its stewardship have long been concerns of museums, archaeologists, art historians, and nations, but recently the legal and political consequences of collecting antiquities have also attracted broad media attention. This has been the result, in part, of several high-profile trials, as well as demands by various governments for the return of antiquities to their countries of origin.

These circumstances call out for public discussion that moves beyond the rather clear-cut moral response to looting, to consider the implications of buying, selling, and exhibiting antiquities. To whom should they belong? What constitutes legal ownership of antiquities? What laws govern their importation into the United States, for instance? What circumstances, if any, demand the return of those antiquities to their countries of origin? Is there a consensus among archaeologists and museum directors about these issues?

These and other pertinent issues are addressed in the essays and responses collected in this volume. Delivered at a 2007 symposium by eminent museum directors and curators, legal scholars, archaeologists, and historians and practitioners of art and architecture, these papers comprise a rich and nuanced reference work.

Contributors: Malcolm Bell III, Nancy Bookidis, Douglas E. Bradley, James Cuno, Dennis P. Doordan, Patty Gerstenblith, Charles R. Loving, Michael Lykoudis, Joanne M. Mack, Mary Ellen O’Connell, Robin F. Rhodes, Marcia Rickard, Kimerly Rorschach, C. Brian Rose, Charles Rosenberg, Stefano Vassallo, Charles K. Williams II.