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Who Owns Art?
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

Should Yale return ancient Incan artifacts to Peru?


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60:01 minutes (28.81 MB)
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Harry Bingham IIIHiram Bingham IIIAncient artifacts, looted from archeological sites... Expensive paintings disappearing during times of war and unrest… The question is: Who owns art?

The arrival of the new Indiana Jones movie in theaters has people talking archeology once again - and not the methodical, precise work that real archeologists do - but, a type of adventure where rare objects are looted from burial grounds, only to show up in Western museums and art collections.

While stories like this aren't all that common, major art museums around the world have had to return stolen artifacts.

In a totally different kind of case, Yale University has been engaged in a protracted scuffle over Incan artifacts found by Yale explorer Hiram Bingham III, nearly 100 years ago.

Today, “Where We Live,” our reporter Diane Orson - who's been following the Yale/Peru case for NPR joins us to update that story. And, we talk about the larger questions of who owns important cultural objects...do they belong in a specific place, or to the world community?

Peruvian PinPeruvian Pin
We also are joined by Barabar Shailor, Deputy Provost for the Arts at Yale University; Patty Gerstenblith, Director of DePaul University Law School’s Department of Cultural Heritage Law; Gary Vikan, Director of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, medieval art scholar; and Marei von Saher, daughter in law of Jacques Goudstikker – The Netherlands' biggest art dealer in the 1930s who left more than a thousand works of prized art behind when he fled the Nazis.

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