“Scholarship cannot thrive if limits are placed on who can investigate the past, or if lines of investigation are shut down. The Western traditions for the production and disposition of knowledge…are the best way to research history and culture.” “In America, Canada, Australasia and even parts of Europe, since the 1990s ‘indigenous’ people have been granted extensive control over art and artefacts in museums. Museum policies mandate the active involvement of ‘source communities’…in decisions about exhibitions, research and the care of objects.
“An unfortunate elision is made between someone’s ethnicity and their authority to speak definitively about cultural artefacts, which excludes those who do not share that ethnicity, despite their expertise.
“It has meant the disappearance from public display of important material. Artefacts are segregated and access to them limited if they are sacred or have ceremonial status. Continue reading ‘Who owns culture?’