Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The growing backlash against the trade in Tribal Art

Brief and rather sketchy piece in the Economist (Feb 8th): "Masks and magic: The growing backlash against the trade in tribal art"
Tribal art began gaining recognition in the late 19th century when exhibitions, such as MoMA’s “Africa Negro Art” show, new ethnographic museums, such as the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris, and the enthusiasm of modernist artists like Pablo Picasso gave the West a taste for the exotic. But growing cultural sensitivity is restricting the market. Museums are increasingly required to return cultural items to the descendants or tribe they belong to. [...] Australia, New Zealand and countries in Central and South America are also demanding the return of sensitive art work from dealers and auction houses directly. [...] Prices are going up as important pieces become scarcer.
Masks meant to be worn and danced not displayed in a foreign museum (Wikipedia)

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