During ICOM Kyoto 2019, a plenary session will be dedicated to the topic ‘Decolonisation and Restitution: Moving Towards a More Holistic Perspective and Relational Approach’.
We did a Q&A with the moderator of the session Tonya Nelson, Director of Arts Technology and Innovation at Arts Council England and Chair of ICOM UK.
What is the aim of this activity?
The session will explore how the restitution of objects from formerly colonised nations fits within the larger context of decolonising museums and consider how claims of restitution could provide the basis for long-term relationship-building that will transform how collections are managed, interpreted and displayed.
How claims of restitution could provide the basis for long-term relationship-building that will transform how collections are managed, interpreted and displayed
Why are decolonisation and restitution important for the future of tradition?
Decolonising museums will open dialogue about the material heritage of source communities, thus creating the opportunity to discover new traditions. Restitution, which has gained renewed attention recently with France’s decision to return 26 objects to Benin and with the German government pledging $2.1 million to restitution research, could be a platform for building long-term relationships between different communities. On the other hand, new thinking about restitution and decolonisation could break specific traditions around how museums gather, disseminate and present knowledge related to their collections.
Decolonising museums will open dialogue about the material heritage of source communities, thus creating the opportunity to discover new traditions.
This session will be of interest to any museum professional who wants to take a strategic, long-term approach to address issues of restitution and decolonisation. It will also be an opportunity to advise ICOM on how it can play a role in supporting such efforts.
ICOM Kyoto 2019
Between the 1st and the 7th of September 2019, Kyoto (Japan) will host the biggest and most important conference of museums in the world. More than 3.000 museum professionals and experts from all international backgrounds will participate in this triannual event, the 25th General Conference of ICOM. After 24 successful editions, ICOM’s flagship conference has become a worldwide reputed hub for exchange about the topical issues museums tackle today, as well as the most innovative solutions.