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Should Stolen Artifacts be Returned to their Country of Origin?

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by

Thanasi Kordas

on 6 June 2014

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Transcript of Should Stolen Artifacts be Returned to their Country of Origin?

Modern History Assessment Task
Should Stolen Artifacts be Returned to their Country of Origin?
By Thanasi Kordas
Artifact Definition
An artifact can be defined as an object made by human beings, especially with subsequent use.
Examples of Stolen Artifacts
1. Nefertiti Bust
2. The Louvre's Egyptian Frescoes
3. The Elgin Marbles
4. The Hottentot Venus
5. Ramses Mummy
6. Euphronios Krater
7. Priam's Treasure
8. Koh-i-Noor Diamond
9. Geronimo's Skulls
10. Chinese Bronzes
Should Stolen Artifacts Be Returned to their Country of Origin?
Yes
1. It is Morally Correct

2. Understanding the artifacts context is easier if it is returned to its country of origin.

3. Overtime they have been illegally obtained.

4. The artifact me be enriched if returned to its country of origin.

5. Foundations of a potential tourist trade.
No
1. The economic and political situations of the country may not be adequate enough in protecting the artifact.

2. These artifacts are renown around the globe in their current locations, and hence it will be better to leave it in the current country.

3. People may view the artifact wiith unrestricted access.

4. Insufficient evidence being provided to claim the artifact, hence cases of fraud may occur.
Controversies
Over the years, many artifacts have been stolen. These have raised many issues, such as, "Was Lord Elgin a Saviour or Vandal?" Lord Elgin, the British Ambassador of Constantinople, took pieces of marble from the Parthenon in Greece from 1799-1803. Did he save these artifacts or did he simply steal them. Some can say he saved them as they are now well protected in the British Museum, however some may say he was a vandal as he applied bleach to the pieces of marble and whether or not he took it for his own selfish reasons
Bibliography
BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: Lord Elgin - Saviour or Vandal?. 2014. BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: Lord Elgin - Saviour or Vandal?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/parthenon_debate_01.shtml. [Accessed 02 June 2014].

Cultural Treasures by Maria Yang Ma on Prezi. 2014. Cultural Treasures by Maria Yang Ma on Prezi. [ONLINE] Available at: http://prezi.com/pqsj3dxfdrvc/cultural-treasures/. [Accessed 02 June 2014].

Complete List - Top 10 Plundered Artifacts - TIME. 2014. Complete List - Top 10 Plundered Artifacts - TIME. [ONLINE] Available at: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1883142,00.html. [Accessed 02 June 2014].

The Elgin Marbles - Top 10 Plundered Artifacts - TIME. 2014. The Elgin Marbles - Top 10 Plundered Artifacts - TIME. [ONLINE] Available at: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1883142_1883129_1883001,00.html. [Accessed 02 June 2014].

Chinese Bronzes - Top 10 Plundered Artifacts - TIME. 2014. Chinese Bronzes - Top 10 Plundered Artifacts - TIME. [ONLINE] Available at: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1883142_1883129_1883094,00.html. [Accessed 02 June 2014].

George Clooney & Bill Murray Interview - Elgin Marbles Controversey - YouTube. 2014. George Clooney & Bill Murray Interview - Elgin Marbles Controversey - YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 02 June 2014].
The Chinese Heads
The recent attempt to sell a pair of brass Chinese animal heads took a after they were put up for auction as part of the sale of French designer Yves Saint Laurent's art collection. A $40 million bid was received for the two heads, which French and British troops removed from a clock at China's Old Summer Palace during the second Opium War in 1860. Chinese art dealer Cai Mingchao submitted the massive bid to protest the sale of the heads, which many Chinese see as unfairly torn from their cultural patrimony.
Conclusion
In conclusion, many arguments have been put forward on whether or not these stolen artifacts should be returned, however, most stlen artifacts still remain in their current position, and whether or not they should be returned remains entirely on the opinion of others. So tell me, what do you think?
Video
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