Decolonise ‘or else’: it’s time for UK museums to lose their ...

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Decolonise ‘or else’: it’s time for UK museums to lose their marbles

Arts council will issue guidance on repatriation of valuables brought to Britain in the age of empire

Craig Simpson

UK museums will be asked to assess their collections with a new “decolonising” checklist to ease the repatriation of cultural treasures, and could face financial repercussions if they fail to do so.

Arts Council England has called on experts to draw up guidelines to address significant objects such as the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone, which have long provoked pleas for repatriation from aggrieved nations after being seized in the age of empire.

The government-backed body already requires its organisations to follow protocols on diversity in order to receive funding, so it could demand institutions adhere to its planned credo on colonialism. It is hoped the checklist will be followed by all museums and fill a gap in guidance...

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