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Programme announcement – From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums

Posted on    by Elena Cooper

Programme announcement – From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums

By 18 April 2024July 2nd, 2024No Comments

CREATe, The Hunterian and the Institute of Art and Law are delighted to announce the programme for their jointly convened conference: From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums, to take place on Friday 19th April 2024, 9am-5pm, at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.

In recent years, a number of UK museums have repatriated artefacts and ancestral remains to a range of countries and communities. Returns to India, Nigeria, Australia, Taiwan and Native American communities, raise the question of current best practice on museum repatriation, a hotly debated and current issue globally. Drawing on diverse international case studies – including presentations from those directly involved in returns of Aboriginal material to Australia, the Ni’isjoohl Totem Pole to Canada and a natural history specimen to Jamaica – this conference will involve leading professionals, scholars and practitioners in the fields of museums, heritage and repatriation, addressing diverse questions around legal and ethical frameworks, community engagement, intellectual property, museum practice and more.

This event is funded by a GBP 1 million Arts and Humanities Research Council grant awarded to CREATe as UK research infrastructure, between 2024 – 2028.



‘From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums’

Friday, 19th April 2024, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow

Master of Ceremonies: Elena Cooper, Senior Research Fellow, CREATe

8.45am-9.10am: Coffee/registration

9.10am-9.20am: Welcome
Martin Kretschmer, Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Director of CREATe
Rachel Sandison, Deputy Vice Chancellor, External Engagement and Vice Principal, University of Glasgow

9.20am – 10.10am: Panel 1: The Scottish practice of engagement and repatriation
Moderator: Emiline Smith Lecturer in Criminology, University of Glasgow
Speakers: Neil Curtis Head of Museums and Special Collections, University of Aberdeen, Duncan Dornan Head of Museums and Collections, Glasgow Life and Steph Scholten Director, The Hunterian.

10.10am to 11.00am: Panel 2: Returns to country: the work of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Islander Studies (‘AIATSIS’) in securing overseas returns to Aboriginal groups
Moderator: Steph Scholten (Director, The Hunterian).
Speakers: Iain Johnston, Senior Researcher, AIATSIS, (in person or online), Jason Lyons, Director, Return of Cultural Heritage, AIATSIS, and Georgina Young, Head of Exhibitions and Collections, Manchester Museum.

11.00am-11.20am: Coffee break

11.20am – 12.10pm: Panel 3: The legal framework for repatriation: In the UK and beyond 
Moderator: Emily Gould, Assistant Director, Institute of Art and Law
Speakers: Andreas Giorgallis, PhD student, CREATe, Alexander Herman, Director, Institute of Art and Law) and Christa Roodt, Senior Lecturer, History of Art, University of Glasgow

12.10pm to 1.10pm: Lunch

1.10pm-2.00pm: Panel 4: Transcending material return: considerations from intellectual property and beyond
Moderator: Elena Cooper, Senior Research Fellow, CREATe
Speakers: Kristin Hausler, Dorset Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law and Director, Centre for International Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Pinar Oruç, CREATe Fellow and Lecturer in Commercial law, University of Manchester, and Andrea Wallace, CREATe Fellow and Associate Professor, University of Exeter.

2pm-2.50pm: Panel 5: Returning of the Galliwasp from The Hunterian
Moderator: Giovanna Vitelli, Head of Collections & Curatorial, The Hunterian
Speakers: Churnjeet Mahn, Deputy Associate Principal, Professor of English, University of Strathclyde, Elizabeth Morrison, Zoologist, Natural History Museum of Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica, Shani Roper Museum Curator, Museum of the University of the West Indies, and Mike Rutherford, Curator of Zoology and Anatomy, The Hunterian.

2.50pm- 3.10pm: Coffee break

3.10pm-4pm Panel 6: A ‘rematriation’: returning the Ni’isjoohl Totem Pole from National Museums of Scotland
Moderator: Geoffrey Bennett, Senior Fellow, Institute of Art and Law
Speakers: John Giblin, Keeper, Department of Global Arts, Culture and Design, National Museums of Scotland, Amy Parent, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, (online speaker), and Chanté St Clair Inglis, Director of Heritage, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; formerly Head of Collections Services, National Museums of Scotland.

4pm-4.40pm Panel 7: Final reflections on ethics and policy
Moderator: Emiline Smith, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Glasgow
Speakers: Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections, University of Aberdeen, Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collections, Glasgow Life, and Steph Scholten, Director, The Hunterian.

5pm – Close

Should you have any questions about this event, please contact Elena Cooper on behalf of the conference organising committee: Elena Cooper and Andreas Giorgallis (CREATe), Steph Scholten (The Hunterian) and Alexander Herman (Institute of Art and Law). 

Those interested in attending the conference on Friday 19th April, may also be interested in attending ‘From Scotland to the World: Donor Restrictions on Galleries and Museums’ (which must be booked separately) to be held in The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, on Thursday 18th April, 5.30pm to 6.30pm.