The complexities of cultural repatriation: a case study on the Buddha statue head of Borobudur temple
Throughout the past decades, the act of museums returning cultural properties acquired during times of conflict or colonial occupation has been considered a way of building and restoring a nation’s cultural identity and mending historical wrongs. However, on the other hand, cultural repatriation has also been known for provoking never-ending disputes. In some cases the circumstances are far more complex, resulting in the significant amount of cultural properties that remain displayed in museums today.
Through a case study that focuses on the British Museum’s ownership of a Buddha statue head that originated from the Borobudur temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, this research identifies and analyses the complexities of cultural repatriation and the various arguments hindering its return. The findings of this research extracts themes from multiple sources of literature, expanding on arguments that discuss differing ideologies, the factor of conservation and legal limitations. Ultimately, this research contributes to the larger framework of cultural heritage management, understanding its vital role in overseeing the care and ethical use of cultural property from the region.
Jul – Dec 2020
A Stroll in The Garden Virtual Art Exhibition
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