Article | National Museums and the Negotiation of Difficult Pasts: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Brussels 26-27 January 2012: EuNaMus Report No 8 | National Museums in the context of State Succession: The Negotiation of Difficult Pasts in the Post-Cold War Reality Linköping University Electronic Press Conference Proceedings
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Title:
National Museums in the context of State Succession: The Negotiation of Difficult Pasts in the Post-Cold War Reality
Author:
Andrzej Jakubowski: Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2012
Conference:
National Museums and the Negotiation of Difficult Pasts: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Brussels 26-27 January 2012: EuNaMus Report No 8
Issue:
082
Article no.:
002
Pages:
19-35
No. of pages:
17
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2012-01-17
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


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The paper explores how the recent post-Cold War wave of state succession in Europe has affected the integrity of state art collections. Firstly; the paper explains the content and nature of legal principles regulating allocation and distribution of national cultural treasures in cases of state succession. Secondly; it discusses their actual implementation in relation to two recent cases: apportionment of cultural material between Czech Republic and Slovakia (1994) and the ongoing dispute between Italy and Slovenia on the title to the so-called ’Istria’s Jewels’ and their future allocation. The first one refers to the exchange of certain number of medieval paintings between national museums of Czech Republic and Slovakia fundamentally driven by the principle of territorial origin and historical provenance. The issue of ’nationality’ of the objects has not been raised. Inversely; the dispute between Italy and Slovenia is profoundly marked by what one may call ’the negotiation of difficult pasts’. Accordingly; this case concerns the status of the artworks evacuated by the Italian administration in 1940 from three coastline municipalities of Italian Istria; nowadays known as Slovenian Littoral or Primorska. As a result of WW II; the region was transferred to Yugoslavia. Italian inhabitants of the region emigrated or were forced to emigrate. The status of the Istrian art treasures; currently preserved in the National Gallery of Art in Trieste; remained pending. The dissolution of Yugoslavia has brought the issue to light. Indeed; Italy and Slovenia have to face legal questions regarding the fate of disputed art treasures and overcome bitter memories of the past. Within this context; the paper attempts to (re)locate the role of national museums in the broader discourse on cultural reconciliation. It advocates the view that nowadays such institutions need to be perceived both as major actors and efficient instruments in cross-border cultural co- operation.

National Museums and the Negotiation of Difficult Pasts: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Brussels 26-27 January 2012: EuNaMus Report No 8

Author:
Andrzej Jakubowski
Title:
National Museums in the context of State Succession: The Negotiation of Difficult Pasts in the Post-Cold War Reality
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National Museums and the Negotiation of Difficult Pasts: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Brussels 26-27 January 2012: EuNaMus Report No 8

Author:
Andrzej Jakubowski
Title:
National Museums in the context of State Succession: The Negotiation of Difficult Pasts in the Post-Cold War Reality
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