Repatriation

Earlier this week, American investigators returned a looted rare quarter shekel silver coin to Israel.

Ancient Coin Made in Defiance of Roman Rule Returns to Israel

U.S. officials found the stolen coin at a Denver auction in 2017

Some of the returned artifacts

Panama

The Netherlands Repatriates 343 Ceramics to Panama

The pre-Hispanic pottery pieces range from bowls to plates to burial vessels

Investigators have seized 27 antiquities from the Metropolitan Museum of Art over the last six months, including this marble head of a Greek youth, dated to around 300 to 100 B.C.

Investigators Seize 27 Greek and Egyptian Antiquities From the Met

The seizures come at a time of increased scrutiny from the Manhattan district attorney’s office over international art crime

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

Museum of the Bible Returns Centuries-Old Gospel Manuscript to Greece

The artifact had been stolen from a monastery during World War I

Shiva in Himalayan Abode with Ascetics, a 10th-century statue returned to Nepal

The Met Returns Two Stolen Artifacts to Nepal

The 10th-century stone statue and 13th-century wooden strut will go on display at the National Museum of Nepal

The ceremony arrives amid a worldwide push to repatriate objects removed from their countries of origin under troubling circumstances.

Albuquerque Museum Returns Long-Forgotten Cache of Sculptures to Mexico

The objects, which date to between 300 and 600 B.C.E., sat in a storage box for 15 years

Members of the Ponca delegation pose with the repatriated pipe tomahawk.

Good News

Harvard Returns Chief Standing Bear's Pipe Tomahawk to the Ponca Tribe

The Native American leader gifted the artifact to his lawyer in a landmark 1879 civil rights case

This painting by Richard Caton Woodville Jr. depicts the Battle of Omdurman.

Sudanese Museums Call for Return of Stolen Artifacts

Colonizers took the items after a deadly battle in the late 19th century

This commemorative sculpture by an Edo artist is one of 29 objects the Smithsonian is proposing to repatriate to Nigeria. 

Why the Smithsonian Adopted a New Policy on Ethical Collecting

For more than a century, museum artifacts were acquired in ways we no longer find acceptable. How can we repair the damage?

The Parthenon sculptures are also known as the Elgin Marbles. 

Past Imperfect

Can Greece and the U.K. Finally Broker a Deal to Return the Elgin Marbles to Athens?

New talks raise old questions about the ancient Parthenon sculptures

This statue was looted from the Koh Ker temple complex in Cambodia in the 1970s.

Cambodia Asks U.K. Cultural Institutions to Return Looted Statues

British museums contain hundreds of allegedly stolen temple treasures

The Museum of Prehistory and Early History in Berlin houses some 5,500 skulls collected by Austrian anthropologist Felix von Luschan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On Friday, February 11, the German museum returned 32 skulls from the collection to a Hawaiian delegation.

Germany, Austria Repatriate Dozens of Human Skulls to Hawaii

Earlier this month, a Hawaiian delegation retrieved 58 sets of ancestral remains from five European museums

Earlier this month, U.S. officials agreed to return two seized cuneiform artifacts to the Iraqi consulate in Los Angeles.

U.S. Returns 4,000-Year-Old Cuneiform Tablet and Prism to Iraq

An investigator says the artifacts were "almost certainly" looted from the Middle Eastern country

French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot stands next to Gustav Klimt's oil painting Rosebushes under the Trees (1905), as she announces the return of 15 Nazi-looted artworks to Jewish families at an event at Musee d'Orsa in Paris.

France to Return 15 Works of Nazi-Looted Art to Jewish Families

The works include pieces held in the collections of the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay in Paris

This 14th-century religious carving of a water spirit was part of a window decoration in a Kathmandu monastery.

Rubin Museum Agrees to Return Stolen Religious Artifacts to Nepal

An investigation launched by the New York cultural institution concluded that the 14th- and 17th-century carvings were "unlawfully obtained"

Bruce Clark, author of the new book Athens: City of Wisdom, outlines the events that culminated in the Elgin Marbles’ extraction from Greece.

How the Much-Debated Elgin Marbles Ended Up in England

For two centuries, diplomat Thomas Bruce has been held up as a shameless plunderer. The real history is more complicated, argues the author of a new book

A high-necked polychrome pot, created sometime between 1100 and 1400 B.C.E., was among the more than 900 items returned to Mali.

The U.S. Returns More Than 900 Stolen Artifacts to Mali

American authorities seized the presumably looted objects, which were listed as replicas, in 2009

Virtual reconstruction of Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan as it may have looked around 600 C.E., when it decorated a manmade cave temple in southern Cambodia

A Botched Restoration Left These Ancient Cambodian Statues With Swapped Limbs

Now properly pieced together, the sculptures of Hindu deity Krishna are on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art

This 16th- or 17th-century copper alloy plaque—one of the ten Benin Bronzes removed from view—depicts a high-ranking warrior flanked by musicians and a page holding a ceremonial sword.

History of Now

Why the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art Removed Its Benin Bronzes From View

Displaying the looted artworks does "a huge amount of harm,” says director Ngaire Blankenberg, who has affirmed her commitment to repatriating the objects

Alula Pankhurst, a member of Ethiopia’s National Heritage Restitution Committee, calls the objects' return the “single most significant heritage restitution in Ethiopia’s history.”

Looted Maqdala Treasures Returned to Ethiopia After 150 Years

A nonprofit foundation purchased the objects, which were seized by British troops in 1868, with the aim of restituting them

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