Museums are often reprimanded for holding onto items collected from other nations; however, their goal has been to preserve, exhibit artifacts for future generations to learn and admire.
It’s a noble, worthwhile and civic idea—that we of today might gain insight from understanding the past, and even be inspired by our heritage and that of others. Educators support cultural heritage preservation and vocalizing the history of relics and culture. Unfortunately, provided a uniform education to children of a specific can be challenging; however, it is imperative that alongside the history of their country, a history of their country’s art and artifacts be provided. Some countries are currently unable to host a safe place for their cultural pieces, so internationally recognized museums can insure the preservation of the country’s tangible history.
Recognizing cultural heritage is vital in understanding humanity. It embodies knowledge of specific eras regarding engineering, architecture, design, government, social structure, science, economy, craftsmanship and religious beliefs. It offers an appreciation of history, and lets us understand something about the way in which people lived.
But heritage is not only about the past. Heritage is a representation of how people view themselves and others around them, including their predecessors and current neighbors. In that sense, cultural heritage teaches us about tolerance and respect for a diverse humanity. Saving heritage saves us from the foibles of arrogance, intolerance, prejudice toward and persecution of our fellow human beings. It can be argued that places such as The Louvre, The Smithsonian, and The Metropolitan, contain more of a certain country’s artifacts than the country itself has. Though this seems unlawful, countries such as Syria, are unable to provide a safe space for their tangible history. So, a museum in a country with high amounts of tourism, such as the United States, in this instance will be able to safely display and preserve Syrian treasures.
Of course, not all countries are in political turmoil like Syria, and so countries are deeming themselves suitable to be able take care of their countries artifacts. The opposing argument is that, a place such as the Louvre, can still be a better place for artifacts to be properly taken care of and displayed. Also, after generations of a relic being in a place like the Louvre, returning what was previously not their’s can be tricky. Vietnam implores the United Nations to set up a fund that provides an approved safe museum space in countries that are requesting the return of their artifacts. Guidelines in act will entail a “loan” system. If an artifact is considered to be capable to traveling, then it will make occasional visits back to its home country.
Because these internationally known museums have purchased and preserved these relics for so long, they do not owe any of their profits to the relic’s original countries. That being said, these museums are still fully responsible for financially preserving the artifacts even while they are abroad. During the absence of the relics in the museums, replicas along with the same descriptions can be placed where the original relic was.