Italy takes aim at Japenese museums

Italy’s aggressive repatriation campaign is continuing, this time in Japan. Italian authorities have compiled a list of 100 objects it claims must be returned. Many of the works are currently housed at the Miho Museum in Koka. Italy plans to make a request for the return of the objects under the 1970 UNESCO Convention. The way in which Japanese authorities respond to these claims will likely be dictated by the quality of the evidence which Italian authorities are able to produce. Most reports claim that these objects are stolen, and that term is likely inaccurate. Probably none of the objects are stolen as we normally think of the crime. Most likely, they were illeglly excavated and/or illegally exported. Italy has claimed an ownership interest in its antiquities, and also put strong restrictions on their export.

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