Returning archeological artifacts to local communities: the example of the Morgantina Aphrodite

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Aidone is a tranquil, rural town in central Sicily (Italy) that recently has become subject of the attention of international news, having checkmated – so to say – two of the most famous and powerful cultural institution in the world, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the unscrupulous collecting … Read More

The Importance of Documenting Cultural Heritage

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In 1957 the British archaeologist John S.V. Bradford – a pioneer in the use of aerial photography for the documentation of archaeological landscape – published the map of the impressive walls surrounding the ancient city of Arpi, the most important centre of the pre-Roman Daunian culture flourished in the Italian region of Apulia between VIII and IV centuries B.C. At … Read More

The right to rest in peace: Native American human remains and NAGPRA final rule

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After 20 years since its passage as federal law on November 16, 1990 the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is still capable of sparking off controversies and fiery debates among American Indians, cultural institutions, and academics. December 12th 2010, with a very much trite titles when it comes to Native American repatriation issues, “Bones of Contention”, the … Read More

Preserving architectural heritage: A review of “Time Honored. A Global View of Architectural Conservation”

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What equates such different and distant places as the New York State Pavilion in Queens (New York City), the Bamyan site in Afghanistan, the Fenestrelle Fortress in the Italian Alps? The elliptical canopy of the New York State Pavilion with its oversized, mosaic-made map of the state of New York is one of the few remaining structures from the historical … Read More

Remarkable objects, multiple histories: The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the protection of American Indian cultural patrimony

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The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the law that regulates protection and restitution of American Indian cultural patrimony in the U.S.A., is about to turn its twentieth year since its enactment in 1990. Beyond its legal requirements, NAGPRA has deeply influenced, and in many cases irreversibly changed, assumptions about cultural property, cultural identity, ownership, artifact, interpretation, and … Read More