Cultural Heritage Conference Attracts International Experts

Experts from around the world will converge on the Willamette campus in October for a conference on Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce. "The conference will focus on protection of cultural material and issues arising from illegal trafficking in them," said Professor of Law James A.R. Nafziger, who first proposed and has helped plan the event.

The conference will bring together more than 25 speakers, including legal scholars and practitioners, art historians, museum curators, and experts from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Nigeria and the United States. Participants are expected to debate the legal and ethical dimensions of critical cultural heritage issues, including how best to protect archaeological sites and museums against looters, curb illegal trade in stolen art and artifacts, and resolve disputes over the repatriation of human remains and artifacts displaced as the result of war, genocide, colonization or commerce.

"Major concerns today include the looting of museums and sites in Iraq, the issue of transferring Kennewick Man to Native Americans, and the return of art to victims of the Holocaust and their heirs," added Nafziger, who helped draft two United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization treaties governing cultural heritage. "The many experts attending the event can help us consider the full scope of these issues so that solutions can be found to keep these problems from escalating."

The conference will be held Oct. 12–14, 2006, at the College of Law, with various events held elsewhere on the Willamette campus. The event is open to the public and members of the Willamette community. Registration is due Sept. 15, 2006. For more information, go to the Cultural Heritage Web site.