You should go check out this discussion over at FORA.tv. Here’s the blurb:
Panelists discuss cultural property issues, asset repatriation and the release of the 2007 Yearbook of Cultural Property Law (Left Coast Press).
Panelists include: Richard Buxbaum, Jackson H. Ralston Professor of International Law, UC Berkeley; Edward Luby, associate professor of museum studies, San Francisco State University; and Rob Roy Smith, cultural resources protection attorney with the law firm Morisset, Schlosser, Joswiak and McGaw.
It’s on the long side, so if you don’t have time to watch it all I’d skip ahead to the segment called “Q7 – Rightful Ownership”. It brings up an issue that came up a lot in discussion in ANTH 433 this term: how to deal with repatriation of goods that were sold by communities a long time ago? Even if the sale was legal, how do we know it wasn’t sold under duress? Do descendants have the right to reclaim something their ancestors sold? The panel doesn’t provide an answer, and indeed it couldn’t, complex as this issue is.