23 and 24 May

Changing Approaches Towards Restitution and Return of Colonial Heritage

Taking responsibility concerning colonial heritage and restitution is a pressing issue for countries and museums worldwide. On 23 and 24 May, a Leiden University interdisciplinary symposium will explore new perspectives as a basis for policies

One of the shortcomings of existing approaches to restitution and return is that they remain largely centered on national/domestic perspectives, while paying limited attention to the broader transnational dimensions of restitution policies. The purpose of this conference is to look beyond individual country approaches/ethical policies to explore what comparative lessons can be learned from different contexts regarding the treatment of cultural objects and/or human remains. Our discussions will focus on a number of themes:

  • De-colonial approaches towards ownership and ontologies of objects
  • Fresh engagement with semantics and epistemic frames
  • Processes of re-connecting objects
  • Experiences with digitization
  • New forms of collaboration between museums and heritage communities.


  • Daily starting from may 23rd, 2024 until may 24th, 2024