Should stolen art and artifacts be returned to their culture of origin?
- Internet Activities
Thinkalong.org is a free, evidence-based interactive tool for students to develop media literacy skills by applying the 5 Key Questions of Media Literacy to public media content. Importantly, the tool does not require registration for teachers or students, abides by student privacy laws, and is advised by a board of both youth and educators.
Each module consists of:
- a compelling and timely question;
- related current and age-appropriate public media content including audio, video, and text;
- extension resources for advanced or highly-interested students;
- student graphic organizers;
- a simple debate tool;
- a teacher's guide to the module;
- and a guide to the 5 Key Questions of Media Literacy.
This Teacher's Guide supports the Should stolen art and artifacts be returned to their culture of origin? module on t. and below is a summary.
Objects on display in museums often have long and complicated histories of ownership. Artworks can be purchased, exchanged, and given as gifts, but they can also be stolen or looted. During the era of Colonialism, European powers claimed vast lands and enslaved large populations; they also took ownership over cultural objects. Many consider these artworks stolen and believe they should be returned to their original cultures. Others argue these artifacts can have a more profound educational impact on a wider audience if they remain in Western museums. The question remains, who owns these historical objects?
To use this module with learners in any setting, we recommend using one of the structured discussion formats outlined at . You can find options for a small or large group, so that all students or just a few participate, and examples of some discussion formats.