Melanie Renzulli, 'The world's most disputed antiquities: a top 5 list', Aug 3rd 2011:
One of the biggest arguments in the art world is the repatriation of objects, particularly antiquities. On one side of the debate are art scholars who feel that ancient objects should remain in the care of their current (usually Western) museums or locations. The other side argues that antiquities should be returned to the countries from which they were removed because they were taken during times of war and colonization or were stolen and sold through the highly lucrative art black market.
It's true that a great many antiquities and works of art we enjoy at museums today may have been acquired through looting or other unsavory practices. Here are five of the most famous works of art that have been repatriated or are the focus of an ongoing battle for ownership".
1) Elgin Marbles
Where are they now? The British Museum, London
Where were they? The Parthenon, Athens, Greece [...]
2) Obelisk of Aksum
Where is it now? Aksum, Ethiopia
Where was it? Rome, Italy [...]
3) Objects from King Tut's Tomb
Where are they now? The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Where are they headed? Giza, Egypt [...]
4) Dea Morgantina (Aphrodite)
Where is it now? Aidone, Sicily
Where was it? Getty Museum, Los Angeles [...]
5) Hattuşa Sphinx
Where is it now? Istanbul, Turkey
Where was it? Berlin, Germany [...].
Photo: The London bits of the Parthenon Marbles