For release: November 19, 2013
For press information, contact Kimberly Rogers, 901/678-4164
The Art Museum at the University of Memphis (AMUM) will present a free public lecture,
“Returning Home: Voices on Repatriation,” Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
in the Art and Communication Building, room 310. Light refreshments will be served.
“Returning Home: Voices on Repatriation” will examine the ethical, emotional and legal
issues of returning cultural material. The symposium, designed for casual and professional
art/artifact collectors, will feature presentations from a variety of experts on the
topic of repatriation. Dr. Genevieve Hill-Thomas, local historian of African art,
will moderate the discussion after the presentations.
The symposium is presented by the Museum Studies Student Association and sponsored
by AMUM, along with the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa.
The idea for the symposium was born after the Art Museum received a bequest from an
anonymous donor. Part of that gift was determined to be a pre-19th century Ethiopian
manuscript bearing an imperial stamp. The donor had purchased the manuscript as a
souvenir during a 1972 vacation to Addis Ababa.
During the presentations, Simeneh Betreyohannes Gebremariam, a native of Ethiopia,
will explain the contents of the manuscript and why he recommends returning it to
the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University. The Ethiopian manuscript
will be on display in the Art Museum’s African Gallery through the end of December.
Other presenters will include:
Dr. Lorelei Corcoran, director of the U of M’s Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology,
was asked by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to authenticate an Egyptian
sarcophagus seized at Miami International Airport. Corcoran will explain her role
in returning this coffin to Egypt.
Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennington, associate professor of anthropology at the U of
M, studies the predicament of culture for the Koori people of New South Wales with
changing racial ideologies, Aboriginal policies and public perceptions of Aborigines.
Kirk Perry, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, is the executive officer for the Chickasaw
Nation Division of Historic Preservation. His preservation and repatriation work covers
homelands in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. The Chickasaw
Nation is pursuing an international repatriation for the return of Chickasaw ancestors
from the British Museum of Natural History.
Victoria Russell, a student at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law and senior managing
editor of the Northern Kentucky Law Review, will talk about where art and artifacts have intersected with the law and what this
means for the art/artifact owner. Russell received her MA in art history from the
U of M.
For more information about the symposium, contact the Art Museum at 678-2224.