A diamond, parts of a temple, sacred masks or a towering obelisk.


Objects like these can be admired in museums, but currently the provenance and ownership of these objects is under discussion. During wartime, revolutions and colonialism they were taken as loot, were acquired through diplomacy or were bought. What within its time-specific context seemed legitimate, may be looked at differently nowadays. How do we look at this (colonial) looting in retrospect? Recently there is a growing recognition of the validity of restitution claims. But what is cultural ownership? Who owns culture?


In the eight-part television series The Art Dispute, the historical legacy and its current implications are examined. Each of the eight episodes is centered around an appealing art object. The series takes the viewer on a journey of discovery to shed new light on its cultural, artistic and historical meaning. We talk to art historians, museum curators and directors, we visit the countries (often former colonies) where the artefacts originated from and meet experts and stakeholders to give insight into the dilemma’s involved in these complex issues. What should museums do or should not do about disputed objects? Where do treasures from the past rightly belong, and why?

Title

Original title

Format

Status

Available

Genre

Country

Language

Broadcaster

Producer

Director

The Art Dispute

De Buit

8 x 50'

In production

2020

Documentary

The Netherlands

Dutch, English

BNNVARA (Netherlands)

Hazazah

Hans Pool