On 23-34 May, the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Research Group ‘Museums, Collections and Society’ will hold an interdisciplinary symposium on ‘Changing Approaches Towards Restitution and Return of Colonial Heritage’. One of the shortcomings of existing approaches is that contemporary practices remain largely centered on national/domestic perspectives, while paying limited attention to the broader transnational dimensions of restitution policies.

The purpose of the meeting is to look beyond individual country approaches/ethical policies to explore what comparative lessons can be learned from different contexts regarding the treatment of cultural objects and/or human remains. It seeks to focus on a number of themes: decolonial approaches towards ownership and ontologies of objects, fresh engagement with semantics and epistemic frames, processes of re-connecting objects, experiences with digitization, and/or new forms of collaboration between museums and heritage communities.