Abstract: Stealing the Past: Collectors and Museums of the 21st Century
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? When asked to return the 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 story sound outrageous? Stories similar to this can be found throughout the world as the 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 around the world.