From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums: Friday 19 April 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024

From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums: Friday 19 April 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024

What you need to know


CREATe (University of Glasgow), The Hunterian and the Institute of Art and Law are delighted to announce their collaboration in convening an in-person conference From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums, on Friday 19th April 2024, 9am-5pm, at Kelvin Hall, 1445 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AW.


In recent years, a number of UK museums have repatriated artefacts and ancestral remains to a range of countries and communities. Returns to India, Nigeria, Australia, Taiwan and Native American communities, raise the question of current best practice on museum repatriation, a hotly debated and current issue globally. Drawing on diverse international case studies - including presentations from those directly involved in returns of Aboriginal material to Australia, the Ni'isjoohl Totem Pole to Canada and a natural history specimen to Jamaica - this conference will involve leading professionals, scholars and practitioners in the fields of museums, heritage and repatriation, addressing diverse questions around legal and ethical frameworks, community engagement, intellectual property, museum practice and more.  


This event is funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant awarded to CREATe (GBP1million, 2024-2028) as UK research infrastructure.

There is a separate registration page for the event Donor Restrictions on Galleries and Museums, Thursday 18th April, 5.30-6.30pm at The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow 

Both events are open to scholars, museum and gallery professionals (and their professional advisers), as well as students, those from claimant communities and those working on aspects of reparative justice relating to the conference themes. 

Friday, 19 April - Programme

‘From Scotland to the World: Repatriation and Museums’

Friday, 19th April 2024, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow

Master of Ceremonies: Elena Cooper, Senior Research Fellow, CREATe

8.45am-9.10am: Coffee/registration

9.10am-9.20am: Welcome
Martin Kretschmer, Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Director of CREATe
Rachel Sandison, Deputy Vice Chancellor, External Engagement and Vice Principal, University of Glasgow

9.20am – 10.10am: Panel 1: The Scottish practice of engagement and repatriation
ModeratorEmiline Smith Lecturer in Criminology, University of Glasgow
SpeakersNeil Curtis Head of Museums and Special Collections, University of Aberdeen, Duncan Dornan Head of Museums and Collections, Glasgow Life and Steph Scholten Director, The Hunterian.

10.10am to 11.00am: Panel 2: Returns to country: the work of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Islander Studies (‘AIATSIS’) in securing overseas returns to Aboriginal groups
Moderator: Steph Scholten (Director, The Hunterian).
SpeakersIain Johnston, Senior Researcher, AIATSIS, (in person or online), Jason Lyons, Director, Return of Cultural Heritage, AIATSIS, and Georgina Young, Head of Exhibitions and Collections, Manchester Museum.

11.00am-11.20am: Coffee break

11.20am – 12.10pm: Panel 3: The legal framework for repatriation: In the UK and beyond 
Moderator: Emily Gould, Assistant Director, Institute of Art and Law
Speakers: Andreas Giorgallis, PhD student, CREATe, Alexander Herman, Director, Institute of Art and Law) and Christa Roodt, Senior Lecturer, History of Art, University of Glasgow

12.10pm to 1.10pm: Lunch

1.10pm-2.00pm: Panel 4Transcending material return: considerations from intellectual property and beyond
Moderator: Elena Cooper, Senior Research Fellow, CREATe
SpeakersKristin Hausler, Dorset Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law and Director, Centre for International Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Pinar Oruç, CREATe Fellow and Lecturer in Commercial law, University of Manchester, and Andrea Wallace, CREATe Fellow and Associate Professor, University of Exeter.

2pm-2.50pm: Panel 5Returning of the Galliwasp from The Hunterian
ModeratorGiovanna Vitelli, Head of Collections & Curatorial, The Hunterian
SpeakersChurnjeet Mahn, Deputy Associate Principal, Professor of English, University of Strathclyde, Elizabeth Morrison, Zoologist, Natural History Museum of Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica, Shani Roper Museum Curator, Museum of the University of the West Indies, and Mike Rutherford, Curator of Zoology and Anatomy, The Hunterian.

2.50pm- 3.10pm: Coffee break

3.10pm-4pm Panel 6A ‘rematriation’: returning the Ni’isjoohl Totem Pole from National Museums of Scotland
ModeratorGeoffrey Bennett, Senior Fellow, Institute of Art and Law
SpeakersJohn Giblin, Keeper, Department of Global Arts, Culture and Design, National Museums of Scotland, Amy Parent, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, (online speaker), and Chanté St Clair Inglis, Director of Heritage, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; formerly Head of Collections Services, National Museums of Scotland.

4pm-4.40pm Panel 7: Final reflections on ethics and policy
Moderator: Emiline Smith, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Glasgow
Speakers: Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections, University of Aberdeen, Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collections, Glasgow Life, and Steph Scholten, Director, The Hunterian.

5pm – Close



  • Friday, April 19, 2024 9:00 AM
  • Doors open 8:45 AM
  • Ends Friday, April 19, 2024 5:00 PM
  • Timezone: United Kingdom Time
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