This one is a little short notice, but if you happen to be in Oregon, it might give an interesting perspective on some of these issues (from the H-Museum network):
Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce
Willamette University, Salem (Oregon)
October 12-14, 2006
The 2003 looting of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad generated international discussion about the law and policies of cultural heritage management. How can we protect archaeological sites and museums against looters? Is there a way to curb the illegal trade in stolen art and artifacts? How can we resolve national and international disputes about the repatriation of human remains and artifacts that were displaced as the result of war, genocide, colonization and commerce? Should cultural treasures such as the Elgin marbles or the Benin bronzes be repatriated, and should the 9,000-year-old "Kennewick Man" skeleton be studied by scientists or be reburied?
This conference, open to the public, brings together archaeologists, legal scholars, art historians, museum curators and experts from the FBI and U.S. State Department to debate these questions. More than two dozen internationally recognized experts from Australia, Canada, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Nigeria and the United States will engage the audience in a critical dialogue about the legal and ethical dimensions of cultural heritage issues. As part of the conference, there will be two public lectures that are free and open to the public (registration not required). The first of these lectures by Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah is entitled "Who Owns Culture?" Prof.Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. His most recent book is Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006). Prof.Appiah's lecture will take place on Thursday, October 12, 2006, at 7:30 pm,in Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at WillametteUniversity. The lecture is co-sponsored by The Lilly Project at WillametteUniversity.The second public lecture in conjunction with the conference is by Mr.Matthew Bogdanos and is entitled "Thieves of Baghdad: The Investigation into the Looting of the Iraq Museum." Designed to separate myth from reality, thepresentation will explore the investigation into the theft and looting ofthe Iraq Museum (in April 2003) from the creation of the U.S. government's first multi-agency task force ever deployed to a war zone (in the frozenhills of Afghanistan) to that team's recovery of thousands of history's most priceless antiquities in eight countries. Mr. Bogdanos' illustrated slide lecture will also expose the flourishing black market in stolen antiquities that is funding the insurgency in Iraq. Mr. Bogdanos (J.D. Columbia Schoolof Law; U.S. Marine Reserve Colonel) is an Assistant District Attorney inManhattan. He served as the Deputy Director of the Joint Interagency Coordination Group and headed the investigation of the looting of the Iraq National Museum. Mr. Bogdanos will speak on Friday, October 13, 2006, at 7:30 pm, in Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette University. The lecture is co-sponsored by Willamette University College ofLaw.
To register and to view the programme, visit the conference website: http://www.willamette.edu/events/chc/registration/
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.