DEBATE – Artefacts to their Country of Origin
This House would return Artefacts to their Country of Origin
This issue has been the subject of international tension between countries for centuries. Here is what happened in our debate:
For the motion:
Cultural specimens should be displayed in the country where they were created, for they define a country’s identity and dignity: who they are.
Many were acquired illegally. Greece claims the Elgin Marbles were stolen.
Some treasures have cultural and spiritual significance where they were made.
To descendants of the creators it is offensive for other countries to keep their artefacts.
Countries have improved the care and preservation of their own artefacts.
Against the motion:
Art treasures should be accessible to the greatest number of people, i.e. in international museums; not in geographical ghettos.
Returning the Elgin Marbles would stimulate a flood of demands for returning artefacts.
The Elgin Marbles were acquired legally by the UK by the custom of those days.
Museums’ reputations depend on the importance of their collections.
Artefacts’ educational value is unique and very important to share.
Only international museums can preserve the artefacts properly.
How the House voted:
- In favour of the motion 13
- Don’t know 6
- Against the motion 13
As with the world at large, there is no resolution to this eternal argument!
Well done to all the young debaters.