You may recall the early scene in Black Panther, in which Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger organizes a heist (or, depending on your point of view, repatriation) of art from a Western museum. This is in no way a new debate, but a change in attitude at some of the world’s great exhibition spaces may indeed be coming.
An advisory committee has just delivered a report to the Dutch government one year in the making, according to The New York Times. It recommends the return of artwork to the Netherlands’s former colonies in Indonesia, Surniame and the Caribbean. Should the Dutch government follow the guidelines, it would mean an investigative body will look at an object’s provenance when requests are made, and create a publicly accessible national database of all the colonial collections in Dutch museums.
This follows the spirit of something begun in France in 2018, but
The Netherlands should return looted art to its former colonies: That’s the official recommendation of an advisory committee to the Dutch government.
After a year of research, including interviews with people in former Dutch colonies such as Indonesia, Suriname and several Caribbean islands, the committee released its report in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
The lawyer and human rights activist Lilian Gonçalves-Ho Kang You, who led the committee, said in an interview that the government should acknowledge the injustices of colonialism and be willing to return objects without conditions if it can be proven that they were acquired involuntarily, and if their countries of origin ask for them.
The report calls for the creation of a body of experts to investigate objects’ provenance when requests are made, and a publicly accessible national database of all the colonial collections in Dutch museums.
Rep. David Leland, the ranking Democrat on the House committee, has been pushing for action before the Thursday deadline for weeks.
“House Republicans are going to let October 1st go by without doing anything to stop this ratepayer rip-off,” Leland said in a statement this week. “That means, in the middle of a global pandemic and an unemployment crisis, House Republicans are going to make hardworking Ohioans pay more on their utility bills.”
Leland also criticized that proponent testimonies for the repeal bills are from the same entities that testified for the bill’s passage last year.
Newly elected House Speaker Bob Cupp, who created the committee last month, said he wants to untangle the legislation “expeditiously” but also with care, as to prepare for any ramifications of the repeal.
The only way for lawmakers to ensure their constituents do not see the additional fee on their electric bill in January