Associated Press: Monuments Men group bets on playing cards to find lost art

Associated Press: Monuments Men group bets on playing cards to find lost art. “Inspired by the U.S. military’s history of creating playing cards related to missions, the Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art on Wednesday announced the creation of the deck focusing on works — including paintings, sculptures and reliquaries — they believe still exist.”

Times of Israel: Greek Jewish archives stolen by Nazis returned after nearly 80 years

Times of Israel: Greek Jewish archives stolen by Nazis returned after nearly 80 years. “The Greek Jewish community is celebrating the return of a trove of manuscripts and community documents that the Nazis stole nearly 80 years ago. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) announced in a statement earlier this month that Russia, which was in possession of the archives, had agreed to return them to their Mediterranean origin, after a diplomatic process supported by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.”

WTXL: Seminole Tribe fighting to bring home ancestral remains from Smithsonian Museum

WTXL: Seminole Tribe fighting to bring home ancestral remains from Smithsonian Museum. “‘We know where they came from. We know who these ancestors are, it should be enough,’ said Domonique DeBeaubien, the collections manager for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Historic Preservation Office. DeBeaubien has worked for the tribe since 2011. She’s led the effort to bring the ancestors sitting inside the Smithsonian home, but it’s a complicated job.”

The Art Newspaper: Smithsonian Museum of African Art removes Benin bronzes from display and plans to repatriate them

The Art Newspaper: Smithsonian Museum of African Art removes Benin bronzes from display and plans to repatriate them . “The Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC has removed its Benin bronzes from display and is planning to repatriate artefacts that were looted by the British in an 1897 raid on the royal palace, according to the museum’s director, Ngaire Blankenberg.”

Times of Israel: Are online sales of pre-Holocaust communal records their doom or salvation?

Times of Israel: Are online sales of pre-Holocaust communal records their doom or salvation?. “During and after the Holocaust, thousands of pinkasim collections were stolen, lost, or abandoned. Unlike real estate and artwork stolen by Nazi Germany, however, pilfered pinkasim never got much legal or media attention. But the lost communal books are ‘an untold chapter of the restitution story,’ said Gideon Taylor, who is chair of operations for the Claims Conference and WJRO. ‘They are the real treasures of Jewish memory because they capture everyday life and what these communities were really like,’ he told The Times of Israel.” I did not know what pinkasim were, but I was able to get an overview from the National Library of Israel.

New York Times: Iraq Reclaims 17,000 Looted Artifacts, Its Biggest-Ever Repatriation

New York Times: Iraq Reclaims 17,000 Looted Artifacts, Its Biggest-Ever Repatriation. “When the Iraqi prime minister’s plane touched down in Baghdad last week after an official visit to the United States, its cargo included 17,000 archaeological artifacts returned by a prominent museum and an Ivy League university in the largest-ever repatriation of looted Iraqi antiquities.”

Museums Association: Trustees approve return of Benin bronzes held in Berlin museums

Museums Association: Trustees approve return of Benin bronzes held in Berlin museums. “Trustees of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the federal government body that oversees the city’s state museums, authorised its director Hermann Panzinger to “negotiate the return of objects from the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin as part of the joint negotiations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the competent authorities in Nigeria.”

KNBA: Museums, Native heritage organizations look to future of digital collection, repatriation

KNBA: Museums, Native heritage organizations look to future of digital collection, repatriation. “The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act certainly has its flaws. But museums and Native cultural organizations look to the future of digital collections and repatriation. The Alutiiq Museum, which is based in Kodiak, will begin to digitize its collection with the eventual goal of expanding and digitizing collections from other museums.”

INTERPOL: INTERPOL launches app to better protect cultural heritage

INTERPOL: INTERPOL launches app to better protect cultural heritage . “An app launched by INTERPOL will help identify stolen cultural property, reduce illicit trafficking, and increase the chances of recovering stolen works and artefacts. INTERPOL’s ID-Art app enables users ranging from law enforcement to the general public to get mobile access to the INTERPOL database of stolen works of art, create an inventory of private art collections and report cultural sites potentially at risk.” The app is free and available in your local app store.

New York Times: What Should Museums Do With the Bones of the Enslaved?

New York Times: What Should Museums Do With the Bones of the Enslaved?. “The announcement was the latest development in a highly charged conversation about African-American remains in museum collections, especially those of the enslaved. In January, the president of Harvard University issued a letter to alumni and affiliates acknowledging that the 22,000 human remains in its collections included 15 from people of African descent who may have been enslaved in the United States, and pledging to review its policies of ‘ethical stewardship.’ And now, that conversation may be set to explode.”

The Regulatory Review: The Regulation of Stolen Cultural Artifacts

The Regulatory Review: The Regulation of Stolen Cultural Artifacts. “After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, looters stole thousands of Iraqi artifacts, which may now be purchased online for relatively low prices. Although the United States has returned many of these artifacts, thousands have slipped through the cracks…. A patchwork of laws and international agreements currently governs the transport and sale of illegally obtained cultural artifacts in the United States. The National Stolen Property Act (NSPA) makes it illegal to transport stolen artifacts across state lines but only covers items worth more than $5,000.”