HOMEWARD BOUND: Returning Displaced Books and Manuscripts
Sunday, April 6, 2008, 10 a.m. – noon.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall.
Does the debate over the identification and repatriation of art and antiquities impact the world of books? How should libraries and private collectors treat books and manuscripts with questionable provenance? Should unique or looted items be returned to their countries of origins? What do case studies of recent and pending book returns reveal about the current climate of cultural heritage ownership and stewardship?
In a book history symposium, HOMEWARD BOUND, a panel of cultural property attorneys, librarians, and writers will address issues related to ownership, provenance, restitution, and heritage as these apply to written cultural artifacts.
Welcoming remarks from Ken Soehner, Arthur K. Watson Chief Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In a presentation entitled “Ex Libris—But To Whom Do They Belong?” Lucille A. Roussin, the founder and Director of the Holocaust Restitution Claims Practicum at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where she also teaches a seminar on Remedies for War Time Confiscation, will discuss research and efforts to recover dispersed collections looted during the World War II.
Jeff Spurr, Islamic and Middle East Specialist in Harvard University's Fine Arts Library, will present a paper entitled “Contested Patrimony: The Fate of the Iraqi Jewish Archive.” He will discuss the fate of a Jewish archive found in Iraq in 2003 and the arguments brought forward by those who wish them to return to Baghdad and those who believe the Archive should stay outside the country where members of the dispersed Iraqi Jewish community may access it.
Patrick J. Stevens, Curator of the Fiske Icelandic Collection in the Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collections of Cornell University Library, will present a paper entitled “Compensating Genius: Iceland's Medieval Manuscripts and their Repatriation from Denmark.”
The panel will moderated by Harry S. Martin III, Henry N. Ess III Librarian & Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.
This event is co-sponsored by SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone) and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, and scheduled to coincide with the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Attendance is free.
Please contact the Irina Tarsis (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information on HOMEWARD BOUND and to confirm your attendance. For more information on this and other SAFE programs, please visit www.savingantiquities.org.
Please enter the Museum by the street-level entrance at 81st Street and Fifth Avenue. Please go to the MEMBERSHIP/INFORMATION desk in Burke Hall, where admission buttons and directions to the Lecture Hall will be provided to symposium attendees.
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