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Living heritage rights : attitudes towards cultural property in the Hellenic diaspora

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Living heritage rights : attitudes towards cultural property in the Hellenic diaspora

Ivens, Jennifer (2010) Living heritage rights : attitudes towards cultural property in the Hellenic diaspora. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Do cultural objects have rights? This thesis looks at the flagship case of the Parthenon Marbles (also known as the "Elgin Marbles"). The case for restitution is examined from both official and popular viewpoints, in particular those of the British Museum, the Greek government and of Greek individuals living in Diaspora in cosmopolitan Montreal. It was found that both the Parthenon Marbles themselves, and the case for their restitution, are only familiar to Montreal-Greek individuals who have acquired a background in a relevant academic discipline, such as art history, classical studies, anthropology, or even political science. However, by exposing uninformed Montreal-Greeks to the arguments for and against the case for restitution, strong interest and attitudes leading to informal social mobilization were generated. This may be interpreted as pointing to Greek immigrants' profound need for cultural representation and visibility within multicultural Montreal. In the final section of this thesis, the Greek Government's notion of the Marbles being "Living Hellenic Ancestors" is examined. This thesis argues that cultural objects may hold "life potential" (as defined by Sven Ouzman in his 2006 article called ''The Beauty of Letting Go: Fragmentary Museums and Archaeologies of Archives" in the book Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture ) and, as such, should be the subjects of 'Living Heritage Rights.' This definition would in turn entitle them the to have cultural representatives appointed to determine and give effect to their needs and desires. It is argued that anthropologists have a role to play mediating international cultural property disputes by means of studying opposing parties' relationships to cultural artifacts on a grassroots level. With this information in hand, and through negotiations, it is suggested that committees of cultural representatives would be able to work out cultural accommodations and compromises, which would benefit any and all cultures concerned and also educate the public at large on human diversity and achievements

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ivens, Jennifer
Pagination:ix, 120 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Howes, D
ID Code:979380
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:58
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:49
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