Icon Scotland Group: Repatriation of Objects from Scottish Collections

Experiences of collections care professionals with repatriation from Scottish museums and galleries.

Icon Scotland Group brings you this online seminar discussing the repatriation of objects from Scottish Collections. The talks will look at the complexity of repatriation, while exploring the roles of conservators and other collection care professionals, as well as the significance of these heritage items and potential conservation measures.

Mark Hall will give an outline of the repatriation agreement between Perth Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa for Perth’s return of two Toi Moko or tattooed heads. He will run through what happened and reflect on its future implications.

Patricia Allan will summarise Glasgow Museums’ thirty-four year experiences of international cultural repatriations to Australia, New Zealand, USA, India and Nigeria from a curatorial perspective. She will look at the changes in approach, ethics and practice since the first request in 1990 to more recent and ongoing cases.

Charles Stable will describe from a conservation perspective the Re-matriation of House of Ni'isjoohl Memorial Pole from National Museums Scotland to the Nisga’a Nation, looking at the practical logistics of physically lowering , removing the pole from its permanent display, transportation and meeting the requirements and understanding sensitivities for both physical preservation but to address and respecting Nisga’a cultural sensitivities pertaining to handling and moving the pole.

Neil Curtis will outline and discuss the University of Aberdeen’s procedure for restitution and repatriation, looking at how it has developed over the past 20 years in response to the different experiences, including returning a sacred bundle to the Kainai First Nation, Maori ancestors to Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand and the return of a Benin Bronze in 2021.