A committee that will prepare national guidelines on the restitution of cultural objects that may have been illegally or unethically elicited or traded has met for the first time.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media says that, in recent years, there have been a number of cases in which cultural institutions and others have returned artefacts to their places of origin.
It points out that, while there is growing public awareness of these issues, there are currently no guidelines for cultural institutions in Ireland setting out best practice in this area.
‘Delicate and complex issues’
The advisory committee is being chaired by Sir Donnell Deeny, chairman of the British Government’s Spoliation Advisory Panel and member of the Court of Arbitration for Art in The Hague.
He said that the committee would advise on “delicate and complex issues’ relating to the restitution and repatriation of historic and cultural objects now in Ireland
The membership of the committee includes High Court judge Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo.
Minister Catherine Martin described the establishment of the committee as “a significant step” towards establishing best practices on the issue in Ireland.