Home Forums Who owns the past? Who owns the past? Reply To: Who owns the past?


This is a complicated subject as I could see any of these sides of the argument having a legitimate reason to be right. In another class I am in, we are discussing Alaskan Native History and there is this similar topic being discussed on Alaska Native Art and their elders not feeling it is right to display these very personal artifacts for anyone to see. In some Alaskan Native cultures, a piece could be used for a specific celebration or spiritual event and they believe the spirit of the event is in that art piece. Still other Alaskan cultures feel a specific clan has the rights over any art produced by its peoples. How then can someone just find one of these arts pieces and make claim to it and ignore the cultural reference? In this class there is similar situations of people like last weeks Sir Arthur Evans and his incorrectly reconstructing The Palace Complex at Knossos. It is sad that the Minoan’s culture was represented incorrectly. It seems like many of these finds have been claimed by the finder and not by the culture who originally made the item. I certainly don’t have an answer to who should get the right to the item but I would hope that most people who find ancient artifacts would want them appreciated by all and allow their cultural ties to be acknowledged.