How to Repatriate?

I got a very interesting email yesterday from someone wondering how they should return a piece of marble to Greece. Apparently the object was given as a gift sometime in the 1960s. She has contacted the Greek embassy but they have not been very helpful it seems. Perhaps she was not speaking to the right people, I don’t know. But in a time when Greece is becoming increasingly vocal about repatriation, shouldn’t it make it easier for individuals who want to do the right thing and send objects back? Also, should she make sure to get some kind of immunity for potential charges? Might a good Samaritan be possibly opening the door for criminal charges by the Greeks, even though that would seem to be a horrible blunder on their part?

I’m afraid I didn’t have any good advice for her. I suggested contacting some museums in her area, who perhaps have some better contacts in the Greek Culture Ministry. Does anyone have any practical suggestions for someone who wants to return a piece of cultural property to a source nation?

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

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