Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Caribbean Collections in European Museums and the Question of Returns

  • Mariana Françozo (a1) and Amy Strecker (a1)
Abstract:

Since 2014, when the Caribbean Community officially launched its claim against former European colonial powers for reparations for slavery and native genocide, there has been a renewed interest in the question of cultural reparations and, more specifically, Caribbean cultural objects located in European museums. Yet information about such material remains scarce; there have been no formal claims for returns, and the legal status of Caribbean collections in European museums is anything but clear. This article aims to address these issues. First, we sketch the profile of Caribbean archaeological collections located in European museums to shed light on their nature and provenance. On this basis, we then move on to analyzing the legal status of such collections in light of international law, before discussing the broader political and ethical framework of returns and the role of cultural cooperation in reparatory justice for the Caribbean more generally.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Andree, R. 1902. “Zwei Zemis von Gonaïves, Insel Haiti.” Globus 82: 309.
Basu, Paul. 2011. “Object Diasporas, Resourcing Communities: Sierra Leonean Collections in the Global Museumscape.” Museum Anthropology 34, no. 1: 2842.
Bercht, Fatima, et al, eds. 1997. Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean. New York: Museo del Barrio/Monacelli Press.
Buijs, Cunera, and Jakobsen, Aviâja Rosing. 2011. “The Nooter Photo Collection and the Roots2Share Project of Museums in Greenland and the Netherlands.” Inuit Studies 35, nos. 1–2: 165–86.
Cabello Carro, Paz. 1989. Coleccionismo americano indígena en la España del siglo XVIII. Madrid: Ediciones de Cultura Hispánica.
Cabello Carro, Paz. 1994. “De las antiguas colecciones americanas al actual Museo de América.” Boletín de la ANABAD 44, no. 4: 177202.
Cabello Carro, Paz. 2001. “La formación de las colecciones americanas en España: evolución de los criterios.” Anales del Museo de América 9: 303–18.
Cater, Robert R. 1982. “The Taranaki Panels: A Case Study in the Recovery of Cultural Heritage.” Museum 34: 256–58.
Chechi, Alessandro. 2008. “The Return of Cultural Objects Removed in Times of Colonial Domination and International Law: The Case of the Venus of Cyrene.” Italian Yearbook of International Law 18: 159–81.
Chechi, Alessandro. 2012. “Multi-Level Cooperation to Safeguard the Human Dimension of Cultural Heritage and to Secure the Return of Wrongfully Removed Cultural Objects.” In Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights, Cultural Diversity. New Developments in International Law, edited by Borelli, Silvia and Lenzerini, Federico, 347–68. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff.
Commonwealth Secretariat. 1995. “LMM(93)3 Proposed Commonwealth Scheme for the Protection of the Material Cultural Heritage.” In 1993 Meeting of Commonwealth Law Ministers: Grand Baie, Mauritius, 15–19 November 1993: Memoranda Part 1, 189222. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.
Delpuech, Andre. 2015. “Sur la constitution des Naturels du pays: Archaeology in French Saint-Domingue in the Eighteenth Century.” In Proceedings of the 25th International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology, 582607. San Juan: IACA-AIAC Congress.
Delpuech, Andre, and Roux, B.. 2015. “À La Recherche de la Culture Matérielle des ‘Caraïbes Insulaires’: Collections Amazoniennes et Antillaises D’Ancien Régime en France”. In À La Recherche du Caraïbe Perdu: Les Populations Amérindiennes des Petites Antilles de L’époque Précolombienne à la Période Colonial, edited by Grunberg, Bernard, 319–44. Paris: L’Harmattan.
Francioni, Francesco. 2008. “Culture, Heritage and Human Rights: An Introduction.” In Cultural Human Rights, edited by Francioni, Francesco and Scheinin, Martin, 1–15. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff.
Guzzo Falci, Catarina, Gijn, Annelou Van, Antczak, Marlena M., Antczak, Andrej T., and Hofman, Corinne L.. 2017. “Challenges for Microwear Analysis of Figurative Shell Ornaments from Pre-Colonial Venezuela.” Journal of Archaeological Science 11: 115–30.
Hamy, E. T. 1899. “Les aquarelles archéologiques de M Guesde de la Pointe à Pitre.” In Decades Americanæ: mémoires d’archéologie et d’ethnographie Américaines, edited by Hamy, E. T., 156–65. Paris: E. Leroux.
Hicks, Dan, and Cooper, Jago. 2013. “The Caribbean.” In World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: A Characterization, edited by Hicks, Dan and Stevenson, Alice, 401–8. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Hofman, Corinne, and Hoogland, Menno. 2011. “Unravelling the Multi-Scale Networks of Mobility and Exchange in the Pre-Colonial Circum-Caribbean.” In Communities in Contact, edited by Hofman, Corinne L. and van Duijvenbode, Anne, 1543. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
Jordan Gschwend, Annemarie. 2012. Catarina de Áustria: A rainha colecionadora. Lisbon: Círculo de Leitores.
Jordan Gschwend, Annemarie, and Lowe, K. J. P.. 2015. The Global City: On the Streets of Renaissance Lisbon. London: Paul Holberton Publishing.
Joyce, Rosemary. 2012. “From Place to Place: Provenience, Provenance, and Archaeology.” In Provenance: An Alternate History of Art, edited by Feigenbaum, Gail and Reist, Inge, 4860. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute.
Joyce, Rosemary. 2013. “When Is Authentic? Situating Authenticity in Itineraries of Objects.” In Creating Authenticity: Authentication Process in Ethnographic Museums, edited by Geurds, Alexander and Van Broekhoven, Laura, 3957. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
Kerchache, Jacques, ed. 1994. L’Art des Sculpteurs Taïnos. Paris: Musée du Petit Palais.
Lixinski, Lucas. 2015. “Cultural Heritage Law and Transitional Justice.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 9, no. 2: 278–96.
Mason, Otis T. 1899. The Latimer Collection of Antiquities from Porto Rico in the National Museum, and the Guesde Collection of Antiquities in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, West Indies. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.
Modest, Wayne. 2012. “Material Bridges: Objects, Museums and New Indigeneity in the Caribbean.” In Anthropology, Indigenous Scholars and the Research Endeavour: Seeking Bridges towards Mutual Respect, edited by Hardy, Joy and Fitznor, Laara, 186–87. New York: Routledge.
Myers, Robert. 1980. “Archaeological Materials from Doninica in North American and European Musuems.” In Proceedings of the International Congress for the Study of Pre-Columbian Cultures in the Lesser Antilles, 473–80. Anthropological Research Paper no. 22. Tempe: Arizona State University.
Newell, J. 2012. “Old Objects, New Media: Historical Collections, Digitization and Affect.” Journal of Material Culture 17, no. 3: 287306.
O’Keefe, Patrick. 1995. “Protection of the Material Cultural Heritage: The Commonwealth Scheme.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 44, no. 1: 147–61.
Olivier, Jose R., ed. 2008. El caribe precolombino: Fray Ramón Pané y el universo taíno. Barcelona: Catalogue of the exhibit organized by the Museu Barbier-Mueller d’Art Pre-colombí (Barcelona), with the collaboration of the British Museum, Ministerio de Cultura, Museo de América, and Fundación Caixa Galicia.
Ostapkowicz, Joanna. 2013. “‘Made … with Admirable Artistry’: The Context, Manufacture and History of a Taíno Belt.” Antiquaries Journal 93: 287317.
Ostapkowicz, Joanna. 2015. “The Sculptural Legacy of the Jamaican Taíno: Part 1: The Carpenter’s Mountain Carvings.” Jamaica Journal 35, no. 3: 52–61.
Ostapkowicz, Joanna, and Newsom, Lee. 2012. “‘Gods … Adorned with the Embroiderer’s Needle’: The Materials, Making and Meaning of a Taíno Cotton Reliquary.” Latin American Antiquity 23, no. 3: 300–26.
Ostapkowicz, Joanna, Brock, Fiona, Wiedenhoeft, Alex C., Schulting, Rick, and Saviola, Donatella. 2017. “Integrating the Old World into the New: An Idol from the West Indies.” Antiquity 91, no. 359: 1314–29.
Ostapkowicz, Joanna, Ramsey, Christopher B., Wiedenhoeft, Alex, Higham, Tom, Wilson, Samuel, and Brock, Fiona. 2011. “‘This Relic of Antiquity’: Fifth to Fifteenth Century Wood Carvings from the Southern Lesser Antilles.” In Communities in Contact, edited by Hofman, Corinne L. and Van Duijvenbode, Anne, 137–70. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
Philips, Ruth, Bohaker, Heidi, and Ojiig Corbiere, Alan. 2015. “Wampum Unites Us: Digital Access, Interdisciplinarity and Indigenous Knowledge: Situating the GRASAC Knowledge Sharing Database.” In Museum as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges, edited by Silverman, Raymond, 4566. London: Routledge.
Prott, Lyndel V. 1995. “The Experience of UNESCO with the Return of Cultural Objects.” American Society of International Law Proceedings 89: 443–47.
Prott, Lyndel V., ed. 2009. Witness to History: Documents and Writings on the Return of Cultural Objects. Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
Rodríguez Ramos, Reniel. 2011. “The Circulation of Jadeitite across the Caribbeanscape.” In Communities in Contact, edited by Hofman, Corinne L. and Van Duijvenbode, Anne, 117–36. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
Silverman, Raymond. 2015. “Introduction: Museum as Process.” In Museum as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges, edited by Silverman, Raymond, 118. London: Routledge.
Srinivasan, Ramesh, Boast, Robin, Furner, Jonathan, and Becvar, Katherine M.. 2009. “Digital Museums and Diverse Cultural Knowledges: Moving Past the Traditional Catalog.” Information Society 25, no. 4: 265–78.
Strecker, Amy. 2016. “Revival, Recognition, Restitution: Indigenous Rights in the Eastern Caribbean.” International Journal of Cultural Property 23, no. 2: 167–90.
Strecker, Amy. 2017. “Indigenous Land Rights and Caribbean Reparations Discourse.” Leiden Journal of International Law 30, no. 3: 629–46.
Urbati, Sabrina. 2014. “Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Cultural Property: Related Disputes: UNESCO Mediation and Conciliation Procedures.” In Art, Cultural Heritage and the Market, edited by Hildegard, E. G. S. and Vadi, Valentina, 93116. Berlin: Springer.
Van Broekhoven, Laura. 2013. “Authenticity and Curatorial Practice.” In Creating Authenticity: Authentication Process in Ethnographic Museums, edited by Geurds, Alexander and Van Broekhoven, Laura, 151–61. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
Veys, Wonu. 2010. Mana Māori: The Power of New-Zealand’s First Inhabitants. Leiden: Leiden University Press.
Vrdoljak, Ana Filipa. 2008. International Law, Museums and the Return of Cultural Objects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weeks, John, and Ferbel, Peter. 1994. Ancient Caribbean. New York: Garland Publishing.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Cultural Property
  • ISSN: 0940-7391
  • EISSN: 1465-7317
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-cultural-property
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed