Lecture by Dr. Richard M. Leventhal
Stealing the Past: Collectors and Museums of the 21st Century
The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology presents a lecture by Dr. Richard Leventhal, professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of the American Section of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In his talk, titled “Stealing the Past: Collectors and Museums of the 21st Century,” Leventhal will discuss the role of museums as safeguards of cultural heritage, the rightful ownership of heritage symbols and icons, and the appearance of museums and collections going forward into a century even more concerned with national identity than those preceeding it.
What would people in the United States say if one day we woke up and found that the Liberty Bell had been stolen and was in a museum in another country? And, when asked to return this symbol of our country, the museum replied that it would be better cared for in their museum and therefore they would not return it. Does this sound outrageous? Stories similar to this can be found throughout the world. Global heritage is slowly being looted from archaeological sites and off the walls of churches and museums to feed the ever-growing appetite of collectors and museums from wealthy countries. As countries throughout the world are becoming more focused on preserving their heritage and their past, what will collectors and museums in the United States be like in the future? Richard M. Leventhal, University of Pennsylvania, will share his view in this engaging lecture.
Free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.