Stulet kulturav? En studie kring repatriering av mänskliga kvarlevor och kulturföremål
Sammanfattning: Recent discussions about a stolen cultural heritage have resulted in several repatriation claims from indigenous people. These claims are often considered a way to disengage from a coloni-al past. There are numerous conventions and ethical guidelines about repatriation to consider; nevertheless repatriation cases are being handled in different ways across the globe. In 2004 the Jewish congregation in Malmö requested that the remains of a 17th century Jewish man, Levin Dombrowsky, which were in Lund University’s custody, should be given to them and buried. In 2009 a request for the return of 100 Paracas textiles arrived to the city of Gothen-burg, signed by the Peruvian government. The aim of this essay is to elucidate the complex of problems linked to the repatriation of human remains and cultural objects. By using official documents of repatriation requests and their responses I have analyzed how the argumentation of two different repatriation cases is carried out: the case of Levin Dombrowsky and the Paracas textiles, and tried to answer the following questions: who are reclaiming the objects and who are the decision-makers? What arguments are being used? Do the argumentations diverge depending on what type of object is being reclaimed? How does the decision-maker deal with the case; is it well-founded, is there a distinct presentation of the case background? How do the arguments relate to the public re-patriation debate? The study has shown that there are differences regarding the kind of arguments that are used whether the repatriation request and/or the response is concerning human remains op-posed to cultural objects. The arguments of the congregation were in most part religious, ethi-cal and emotional opposed to the Peruvian government whose emphasis were on ethical and forensic arguments mainly focusing on the illegal method that brought the objects to Sweden.
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