|Introduction: Contextual introduction.|
Body: Explain why India should make efforts in the repatriation of Artwork. Also write some arguments against reparations and hurdles India is facing in repatriation.Conclusion: Write a way forward.
India’s historical artefacts are a treasure-trove of a rich cultural legacy and religious significance. In the past, many of valuable antiquities, artefacts and sculptures have been stolen from India and are sold in foreign countries. Repatriation is the return of stolen or looted cultural materials to their countries of origin.
Make efforts in the repatriation of artefacts:
- International customary law: The obligation to provide reparations arises when a violation of international law takes place.
- To bridge the gap between the developed and developing world therefore, reparations, whether symbolic, monetary, or otherwise, are much overdue.
- It is morally correct, and reflects basic property laws, that stolen or looted property should be returned to its rightful owner.
- Cultural objects belong together with the cultures that created them; these objects are a crucial part of contemporary cultural and political identity.
Arguments against reparations:
- Colonisation was a legal and common practices at the time, partly because of empire, all cultures are involved in one another; none is single and pure.
- Returning cultural objects which were obtained under colonial regimes to their countries of origin does not make up for the destruction of colonialism.
- Source countries do not have adequate facilities or personnel (because of poverty etc) to receive repatriated materials so objects are safer where they are now.
- Most objects at the time of their acquisition were legally obtained and therefore have no reason to be repatriated.
Hurdles India is facing in repatriation:
- There are no established processes to take back artefacts and some experts claim Indian authorities do not take care of such items properly.
- Heritage theft also remains a rampant problem. Poverty in the country fuels the theft of antiquities.
- Indian government’s standards for safekeeping heritage assets are not up to the mark.
- ASI has no policy for management of antiquities. Storage conditions of these antiquities in monuments like Safdarjung’s Tomb and Purana Qila are pathetic.
Initiatives like India Pride Project are a welcoming step in protecting Indian antiquities that has been instrumental in the repatriation of several works of incalculable archaeological and aesthetic value.