Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Repatriation of Artefacts: Western Museums and their Victims of Circumstance: Protocol for Systematic Review with Meta-Synthesis

Version 1 : Received: 19 June 2021 / Approved: 23 June 2021 / Online: 23 June 2021 (11:30:52 CEST)

How to cite: Mbwogge, M. Repatriation of Artefacts: Western Museums and their Victims of Circumstance: Protocol for Systematic Review with Meta-Synthesis. Preprints 2021, 2021060577 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0577.v1). Mbwogge, M. Repatriation of Artefacts: Western Museums and their Victims of Circumstance: Protocol for Systematic Review with Meta-Synthesis. Preprints 2021, 2021060577 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0577.v1).

Abstract

Background: The saga of repatriating cultural artefacts continues as western museums face increasing pressure from claimants. Western museums that have been involved in the display of historical artefacts, most of which were acquired during the colonial period, have come under huge criticism. A heated discussion of late has been the legitimacy of retaining artefacts in western museums. This study aimed at investigating the ongoing debate regarding the restitution of artefacts. Objective: To investigate the arguments for and against the repatriation of artefacts in relation to diplomatic exchange, preservation, legitimacy and usefulness. Methods: Records will be searched in electronic databases including the University of Manchester Library for Social Anthropology, Scorpus and Project MUSE. Search terms will include "return of artefacts", “return of historical objects”, “return of cultural objects”, “western museums”, “restitution of artefacts”, “repatriation of artefacts”, “restitution of historical objects”, repatriation of historical objects”, “restitution of cultural objects”, “repatriation of cultural objects”, "material culture", "return of antiquities”, restitution of antiquities” and “repatriation of antiquities”. Coding and analysis will be done in SWIFT-Review. The deductive and inductive approaches will be used in synthesising results. Both tabular and graphical methods will be used to present results. Ethics and Results: This study did not need any ethical approval. Results on study characteristics, quality and risk of bias assessments as well as the synthesis of arguments for and against the restitution of artefacts will be presented. The review results will be reported according to appropriate guidelines and disseminated through publication in a relevant journal and presented to stakeholders where necessary. Conclusions: This review will be based on current protocols for systematic review and qualitative evidence synthesis. The study will be the first review that seeks to pull together claims for and against the return of cultural artefacts. The conclusions that will be drawn and recommendations will provide the basis for further research into the debate and the way forward. This study will also help identify the existing gaps regarding the subject matter.

Subject Areas

Material culture, restitution, artefacts, antiquities, cultural objects, western museums, review

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