Seminar Contested Heritage, Museum Collections and Public Space

Start date
End date
National Museum of Antiquities and online

The Centre for Global Heritage and Development and the Museums, Collections and Society Research Group (Leiden University) organize a one day seminar on the topic of contested heritage.

Many heritage and museum discussions are now centred around contested heritage. Various (minority) groups appropriate heritage and collections, and sometimes even tend to monopolize the discussion about rightful ownership, use and location. These sentiments run contrary to the dominant discourse of the 19th and 20th centuries, in which western scholars were often seen as beholding the ‘ultimate truth’ in interpreting heritage and collections.

The seminar aims to address the causes, effects and societal circumstances of the debates on appropriation, ownership and restitution of heritage. As a framework we propose to address the subject of contested heritage in terms of identity, resentment and ownership. Literature: Francis Fukuyama: Identity. Contemporary Politics and the Struggle for Recognition, 2018. 

The presentations and discussions will take place on the 23rd of September in a hybrid format: (most of) the speakers will be in Leiden at the RMO and the audience can follow the discussions through a livestream.  

Livestream link (Teams) to the seminar: