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Why museums are returning cultural treasures | Chip Colwell

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Archaeologist and curator Chip Colwell collects artifacts for his museum, but he also returns them to where they came from. In a thought-provoking talk, he shares how some museums are confronting their legacies of stealing spiritual objects and pillaging ancient graves -- and how they're bridging divides with communities who are demanding the return of their cultural treasures. Check out more TED Talks: http://www.ted.com The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. Follow TED on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TEDTalks Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/TED
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Text Comments (298)
Dr Grad (20 days ago)
Turkce ceviri icin tesekkurler..
Nietzsche's Moustache (23 days ago)
If the Europeans hadn't collected the cultural treasures of the Middle East, they would have been destroyed by religious barbarians.
Leba Babel (25 days ago)
Why can't the natives willing to donate wood carving solely for education purposes? or make a wood carving to trade for the old one?
Unjyn Park (29 days ago)
Thank you so much. I really appreciate how you express and face the sorrow of many peoples hidden behind those wonderful 'objects' in museums. Absolutely, all of them must be returned to the places where they originally come from. If the descendants of the creators of those works decide to stop to treat them as the object of worship and display them in a museum, it is their choice.
Nguyen Chanh (30 days ago)
Or, well, they can always make new ones.
Rachel bae (1 month ago)
Rachel bae (6 days ago)
Rachel bae (6 days ago)
Rachel bae (9 days ago)
Rachel bae (10 days ago)
Rachel bae (12 days ago)
Abigail Nelson (1 month ago)
Lol I random chose this ted talk and I’m from tucson
Rodrigo Canalli (29 days ago)
Egypt: thousands of ancient objects plundered from major Museums in Cairo during political upheaval; Brazil: two major museus burnt on fire, due to deficient maintenance. Among the items destroyed forever, there was the oldest human fossil from Americas; Afghanistan: Ancient Buda statues bombed by taliban extremists as part of a State policy while they were ruling the Country; Iraq: thousands of artifacts looted from museums; Siria: human cultural heritage being destroyed at an incalculable rate; Go on, SJW! If you want to have all these objects destroyed, why dont just set a large balefire and throw them all inside. It's cheaper than returning them, and the results are the same!
Martin Kaufmann (1 month ago)
The Mandela lie returns and returns..
John Simpson (1 month ago)
Chip, you said you have a one-million year old spear point. Sorry to tell you, according to new science, the earth is only about 6-7,000 years old.
Vim LA (1 month ago)
The British , Iranian & Arabic invaders owe India billions due the amount of jewels , gemstones and gold they stole from the Indian people. However, those cultures are very arrogant and see nothing wrong in their sins. Most likely, nothing will happen. Iran and Saudi are [email protected] countries. The UK is now ok with India. Let whoever has the kohinor diamond keep it and obtain its bad karma. (India has many faults, not refuting that. Ethiopia is cleaner than India ).
Acrimonious Dragon (1 month ago)
Hey lets return the stuff from the museum so it can end up in private collections or worse.
조진우 (1 month ago)
I just simply want to say to researchers whoever scientists or archaeologists. if you want study something with human remains, dig your mom and dad's tomb and do what you like with that. I don't care what he or she do with their remains of their ancestors. But don't do with those of other ones' ancestors. It's literally jackass's work.
GoB GoD (1 month ago)
1:28 - coincidence theyre all missing their heads? This lie couldnt stand the test of time had their "black" features not have been destroyed. "Egypt was the place where Alexander the Great went. He was in shock to see moutains w black faces (spinx) So they shot off the nose to impose what basically still goes on today you see?" -Nas
ynderulets tyalikanky (1 month ago)
> spiritual
Alicia Ruiz (1 month ago)
My teacher is from a very tight nit amd resilient indigenous community from the highlands of oaxaca. She said her town’s codex is someone in the netherlands! Its so messed up what use do random white academics deserve this instead of the communities whose ancient wisdom it is
RC CGC (1 month ago)
Yep USA is not the only place they have dug up indigenous remains for study.
ILeftYouDead (1 month ago)
Only reason I'm here is bc thumbnail is flipping me off
Hannah Choi (1 month ago)
Yeah Japan.
dev0n james (1 month ago)
critical theory in museums.
Miguel Guerrero (1 month ago)
At 10:40, that place looks strangely similar to the vault at Museo Larco in Lima, Peru. Those vases look more Mochica than Zunni. I smell something weird here.
DURMUŞ BAYSAL (1 month ago)
God of earth, god of thunder, God is three. None of this is true. The truth is just that. "Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent." (The Noble Quran. Surah Al Iklhas. Verse 1-4) Say, "It is only revealed to me that your god is but one God; so will you be Muslims [in submission to Him]?" (The Noble Quran. Surah Al Anbya. Verse 108) And [Abraham] said, "You have only taken, other than Allah, idols as [a bond of] affection among you in worldly life. Then on the Day of Resurrection you will deny one another and curse one another, and your refuge will be the Fire, and you will not have any helpers." (The Noble Quran. Surah Al Ankabut. Verse 25) And how many a city have We destroyed that was insolent in its [way of] living, and those are their dwellings which have not been inhabited after them except briefly. And it is We who were the inheritors. (The Noble Quran. Surah Al Qasas. Verse 58) Listen to the voice of the Noble Quran. Maybe your life will be changed If God allows. French : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVY8pwx9B74 English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omh4oG8T_Fw German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXWTxB6oS6I
Jan-pieter Rot (1 month ago)
This speech is part of a bigger discussion about how we as the inheritors of the colonial era should be reminded about our past. We should change how we see and approach musea. So often it is about objects of great wealth and not about idea's or viewpoints unique to the past or a culture. A museum could make the world look smaller instead of showing off our wealth and captured treasure's.
Shankar Sivarajan (1 month ago)
6:41 That has an easy answer: you know the old saying about the only good Indians?
Bruno Borgatti (1 month ago)
France give Italy La Gioconda back then, it belongs to us, you stole it
VeeTeeF (1 month ago)
I don't see why these things can't just be scanned and returned?
왜그래 (1 month ago)
Do not forget that more than 80 percent of what we see in the French and American museums and admire is a precious historical treasure of a country other than their own. The fact that the cultural assets obtained by looting other countries in the past are packed as if they were cultural properties and that they are seen by others show that they are inferior to their own poor cultural properties ,. I think that human cultural assets are real values ​​when they are in the birth place of the cultural assets. The value of a cultural property is not in the museum that holds it, but in the place where the cultural assets were born. It is only the authenticity of the value .
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
White museums are for preserving white history only. Send the rest of the artifacts back where they came from.
So where is the cultural dialogue ? Where is the interest for other civilizations ? Where is the intellectual curiosity that can fuel arts and science ?
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
Things like the Native Americans I understand, but the Egyptian artifacts are from an ancient civilization who's culture no longer exists. It's from so long ago that that you have whites, blacks and middle eastern all arguing over who the true descendants are.
Abhi Band (1 month ago)
Atleast return those Wooden Sticks, where you were using on Bullock Cart..
TheMrCitizen1 (1 month ago)
My countries(Bosnia and Herzegovina) birth certificate is in Russia and as is, it's not coming back. It's nice to hear that someone understands what history can mean for someone. (The document is called The charter of Ban Kulin if you're interested )
BANELE MSIMANGO (1 month ago)
Why take what's not yours in the first place... huh Americans?
Okayish Guy (1 month ago)
So India will get back The Kohinoor or No? 🖕Brits
gumo gumo no pistol (1 month ago)
British stole burmese Ruby , should return it too.
Optical Clarity (1 month ago)
"Cultural Treasures" What a joke. They are treasures because they've been preserved... where they came from they'd have been discarded or destroyed long ago.
TheSaltyRainbow (1 month ago)
Yea, then let radicals destroy them down the line.
ClockworkAvatar (1 month ago)
yeah, no these things belong in a museum.
panddda boi (1 month ago)
Nice video against Multiculturalism here, far right people would use this to further their racist agenda.
Teresa White (1 month ago)
This is great news.
Justin Tyler Lee (1 month ago)
It's my culture to steal from other cultures. Can I have my stuff back?
Kay Hay (1 month ago)
Africa ain't getting nothing back from those Europeans.
LaidBackLife (1 month ago)
Do you know where Egypt is?
eier diebs (1 month ago)
I disagree with returning objects, they are part of all human history and should be treated as such, that means keeping them in good condition and preserving them for generations to come. That is best in western museums with stable political, social and economic conditions.
Also, it helps spreading awareness and knowledge about the particular culture objects came from. An actually selfish approach would be for the original country to keep everything for itself.
Michiel Deprez (1 month ago)
You are god damn right! Musea are way less receptable to change over generations. What if a culture changes and discards a sacred object. What if it get's destoyed during a storm or fire. How could a group of people guarantee that their artefact will remain preserved the next hundred years. They can't.
Selfish approach.
Herman Spaerman (1 month ago)
i guess we better wait until ISIS takes control of everything , all artifacts will be smashed to bits , problem solved.
Hiloha'homa (1 month ago)
Those sacred objects were more often than not brazenly STOLEN, not bargained for or they got the village drunk to steal them and deliver them and these white grave robbers knew full well that they were stealing them with one hand as they threw the Judeo-Christian doctrines at our people with the other hand. A useless theology not even adhered to by the proselytizers of that false doctrine.
Merlin-Hans Hiiekivi (1 month ago)
some objects are safer on museum than in some countries
Stavseawalker (1 month ago)
...... .......Is it Is it cause it’s the right thing to do?
Woodchip (1 month ago)
So they can be lost forever, like the fires in Brazil :)
CoolcGaming (1 month ago)
Amanda Anderson (1 month ago)
The reasons they are in museums is so they don't get stolen, lost, or destroyed throughout time so that history can be preserved. Without museums we wouldn't have much historical context because these items would have been looted by thieves, destroyed by warring factions or religions, or buried never to be found again.
Chi Chiu (7 hours ago)
just return them back to their own country already u ignorant
Amanda Anderson (1 month ago)
+maidden Well then we better seal up those pharaohs and send all the paintings back and gather all the literature so as never to be seen or known of again. That way our collective knowledge of the past can diminish so much that origins of art, literature, science, math, civilization, religion, and people all together can disappear. Cuz mah virtue reasons.
maidden (1 month ago)
Those things WERE looted by thieves. That's the whole point. And dead bodies belong buried in the ground if that's where their family wants them.
Alpha Strength (1 month ago)
Stil can't understand what the photo in the thumbnail is
Nick (1 month ago)
A stick with a carved face on it and a bunch of, I assume, tribal artifacts nailed on it at the bottom.
DeadEndFrog (1 month ago)
Conservatives in one country fighting conservatives in another. While im sure they both imagine some other ideology being at fault here. Talk about culture of victimhood. It seems like the culturely sensitive people are just trying to bridge the gap rather then taking a big part in the battle.
jllemin4 (1 month ago)
When will the Smithsonian give back the hundreds of giant skeletons found littering America? Never.
Xeno Phon (1 month ago)
Because they are stolen property? Why does this need an entire video on it, everyone knows this.
personkid21 (1 month ago)
Got an idea. How about non whites randomly seek white households, churches, establishments, etc. And kill to loot and steal any treasure found. Then set these treasures up in THEIR homes, buildings, etc. And establish these as new museums. Using the logic of whites(many commenters here) this would be completely acceptable.(their goods will be kept 'safe'). These whites would.never want to be revealed a hypocrites(many will agree with this).
Matthew Bell (1 month ago)
personkid21 what was acceptable 100 years ago, is not accepted now
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
_"How about non whites randomly seek white households, churches, establishments, etc. And kill to loot and steal any treasure found"_ They literally already do! 😂👌
TheSaltyRainbow (1 month ago)
Oh boi, I hope you are trolling. you are so edgy
personkid21 (1 month ago)
+gnihton blathering from the Anglo spawn of the world's most accomplished(PROVEN) thieves. A species(anglo) that's stolen lands, cultures, people, etc.(and continues to do so as theft, murder and deviance is it's sole religion). If that's 'chimp logic' I'll subscribe to that over anglo neanderthal logic anytime. The only hope for the planet is complete eradication of these neanderthal beasts.
gnihton (1 month ago)
Chimp logic at its finest, you instantly go to justifying robbery. Your comment is like a parody a racist would write to mock black/Indian/Arab people, only you are actually serious. Good job.
Kirk Wilson (1 month ago)
Native americans are lucky they are still alive, they are worthless leeches on our great country. Why dont you talk about how much a year is spent on them? How much land is wasted on them? Can on TED, show the OTHER SIDE AND NOT BE ALWAYS BIASED.
John Buffalo (1 month ago)
+Kirk Wilson this is why the anglos will go extinct like the dodo bird. We made animals extinct and other races, thankfully china with its 1 billion people will dish put karma
Sim W8ing (1 month ago)
+Kirk Wilson Everything you said didn't justify why Europeans steal their land.
Kirk Wilson (1 month ago)
They couldnt go to any land, we brought horses to the land to help them. To this day they worship a GIFT us Europeans brought here for them. They roamed land, they didnt own any land and since we came here we gave them land and since then they have lived in peace. They were killing each other and cutting off their scalps like the craziest serial killer alive. "natives" are the most brutal and uneducated people ever found around the world while any people explored the earth.
Nick (1 month ago)
Someone needs to read what Christopher Colombus did around the 15th century when he stumbled upon the Americas. Him and the rest Europeans that raped, tortured and killed the N A T I V E S. And you're complaining as if it's them that came in your land.
Sim W8ing (1 month ago)
To answer your questions. None and none.
Alaska Woolf (1 month ago)
Many sacred objects have been stolen from tribes all around the world, sold by corrupt people or acquired officially through laws that don't recognize, much less respect the rights and wishes of their original and rightful owners. A lot of them have also been vandalized by people with "Artistic Spirit" trying to "Improve" them. What right do you have to take something that belongs to someone else? Even when they are constantly asking you to give it back? You could say "It's just a rock/a pile of bones/ a piece of wood, it's no big deal, get over it", well it may not be important to you but it is to them. What if I took the Mona Lisa to my home and improved it with a moustache? What if someone decided to dig a family member out of their grave without asking your family? What if someone stole your favorite statue from your backyard and hid it in their basement because "It's going to get ruined there"? Wouldn't you be angry and offended? Taking sacred objects away from people is taking away their right to practice their own culture and religion, which are basic human rights, however these tribes are often seen as simply primitive, ignorant and superstitious, so they are not given even minimal human respect and usually have no way of protecting themselves. I don't like religion or superstitions, and I get science is important, but not more than people, they have a right to believe and have their sacred objects with them, denying that from them is disrespectful, abusive and immoral. If you want to see it or study it you can ask for permission, it's not that hard, then this people can say if they'll allow it or not, it's their choice, not anyone else's.
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
I don't even get why conservatives are so butthurt. If museums only preserve and teach about white artifacts, isn't that in everyone's best interest? 🤔
Ike Okereke (1 month ago)
The Mona Lisa is not a sacred object.
Julia Henriques (1 month ago)
In Brazil we had 2 indigenous peoples' museums in Rio de Janeiro. The first one's collection had outgrown it, so the second one was established in a larger facility. The first museum then went into disrepair, and got to the point of being closed for safety reasons. And then something amazing happened. Indigenous people discovered the old abandoned museum and began camping inside the premises when passing through town. When questioned, they just said they were indigenous people taking care of the indigenous people's museum. In their own precarious situation, they breathed new live into the old museum, which quickly became a hub for indigenous populations, activists, athropologists and everything in between. A living thriving polytribe camping community developed. It has workshops, it had classes, it had a bit of social work, it had festivals, it had he tribes speaking for themselves to whoever wanted to learn from the primary source. But when this community applied for official recognition as an institution, a living museum and cultural centre, they were denied. When the academic community of humanities and social sciences vouched for this community, it was ignored. When the Soccer World Cup came and the community was considered too ugly, too ideologically dangerous, too prone to inconvenient protesting, it was removed by force. To this day the old museum remains empty, just a ruin and nothing else. And thus ended the best native american museum experience ever. The end.
copper lapislazuli (29 days ago)
How sad.
Maciek K. Cichoń (1 month ago)
Wow, things people are capable of, well both ways...
pigglet and pooh bear (1 month ago)
We need to stop letting people destroy positive community centers
Lugh Summerson (1 month ago)
Use all the imaging technology you can to make near-perfect computer models which can be studied indefinitely by unlimited numbers of people and can be used as blueprints for identical recreations. Return the original artefacts to the cultures who created them.
Lugh Summerson (1 month ago)
Scrimmy Bingus Yes, it does. We already have the technology to study composition. A digital model could include all measurable data.
Scrimmy Bingus (1 month ago)
still won't account for dating and composition of artefacts.
Kongolox (1 month ago)
James Russell (1 month ago)
Not my philosophy
A Pacing Goose (1 month ago)
At first I thought the thumbnail was a robot hand flipping me off
waelXcm (1 month ago)
btw amazing as usual...
waelXcm (1 month ago)
who else thought that thumbnail was a middle finger ?!
Christopher Alexander (1 month ago)
waelXcm it is
Chris Mason (1 month ago)
I disagree strongly. Museums are the best place for preservation.
Brookes Gafeney (7 days ago)
Honestly think about it tho. This is like me saying "I'll keep your belongings cuz they are safer with me". Key terms are "your belongings". Its still not actually up to me even if im right.
+Robyn Nishihara Well yes, of course you will ask the Egyptian government for permission or join an egyptological project (that will also ask the government for permission). How do you think you can get there in the first place ? It's about the authorities, not so much about the people who live there. Also - the Cairo Museum has so many artifacts that just stay in the museum depot. What's the use of having this many artifacts that almost noone will ever see ? Why should we return the objects if it helps spreading knowledge and awareness of this ancient civilisation and the circumstances that may endanger ancient remains ?
ynderulets tyalikanky (1 month ago)
So, do you really think that there is alive direct, DNA-proved descendant of some Ankhesenamun? I don't think so. All humanity have equal right for such ancient things. So better it would be in state that funds archaelogists and museums.
Robyn Nishihara (1 month ago)
No you don't seem to understand that the descends of Ancient Egyptians are very much alive and they have asked for their stuff back. England and other countries know that those artifacts were obtained by violent and dishonest means and they don't care. If you really think it's okay to steal and kill for artifacts then you most definitely are morally bankrupt. I can't explain morality to a soulless person and I can't explain facts to a stupid person so you need to become educated or seek psychological help.
ynderulets tyalikanky (1 month ago)
How rude. Not troll, just have different view on inheritance. Good luck with your study.
xxx xxx (1 month ago)
So they would be destroyed because of lack of care of proper infrastructure and funding by barbarians that receive them.
hugo z hackenbush (1 month ago)
Where does it end though
Zhu Bajie (1 month ago)
an anti-science diatribe.
Jervis lin (1 month ago)
I personally think he returned the "being" So he can keep the maintenance fee to himself. #Capitalism
Jervis lin (1 month ago)
Nancy Wagoner I see ur point but i never say they wanted the fee. Here a scenario of what I think what actually happen. Let say the person stole the item doesn't vale it anyone. Do you think he or she will continue to spent money maintaining it, no right he or she will most likely dispose it. Therefore disposing mean returning that item back.
Nancy Wagoner (1 month ago)
Why should indigenous peoples have to repay preservation costs for items that were stolen? If someone stole your car, and the thief spent a lot money to preserve your car, would you repay his costs to get your stolen car back?
WilliamBaratheon (1 month ago)
Is Egypt also demanding the Obelisks in Rome taken in antiquity?
To shove them in an overly stuffed museum depot...
Why does anyone care? Let the savages keep their worthless trinkets and cling to a glorious past that they can’t replicate today.
You're Guy ... I encourage tour fight .
Ron Hahahaha (1 month ago)
It sounds like cultures want to separate from populations they don’t want to share any of their history because they believe the people who possess it don’t deserve it maybe it’s true but how does that promote the human race
+Laowyn And how do you thing the general public will view the museums if they display mainly copies ?
Laowyn (19 days ago)
+Христо Мартунков, граф Лозенски It shouldn't be. If you want to see the ORIGINAL piece, then you should go to the place where it belongs. Otherwise, just go see a copy in the nearest museum or Google a picture of it.
+Laowyn "Tourists can visit". Yeah, go book a vacation in China/India just to see a statuette. It's just so easy and so cheap, right ?
Laowyn (1 month ago)
I think the point is returning objects so they can be displayed in museum from the countries thay come from. This way tourists can visit them while enjoying the cultural aspects of the country too.
Ron Hahahaha (1 month ago)
Humans land space ships on Mars and you’re talking about a stone ax. a painting I respect the past but the future is so much more relevant
+Ron Hahahaha "Parts from all." Bits and pieces, yeah... Sounds so random. But even in this cas, you still anknowledge that the past is somewhat important.
Ron Hahahaha (19 days ago)
Христо Мартунков, граф Лозенски true Parts from all will be used
What are you going to build the future on then ? If not on the past and present ?
blise518B (1 month ago)
Religions are a thing of the past and should be gradually removed from cultures over time so they can act logically and ultimately make the world a better place for everyone.
Batra Chian (1 month ago)
+DeoMachina Not smoking doesn't guarantee a lack of lung cancer, nor does smoking guarantee it.
DeoMachina (1 month ago)
Secularism doesn't guarantee logical thinking, nor does faith totally obscure it.
Different (1 month ago)
but that doesn't mean we need to erase it from history, there are believes and then there is art
DeoMachina (1 month ago)
I'm simply amazed people find the concept of returning looted artefacts offensive. Conservatism is a T R I P
Nietzsche's Moustache (23 days ago)
+DeoMachina The problem is that many of these "cultures" can't or won't preserve these artifacts. The statues & artifacts that were left behind in the Middle East were intentionally destroyed by ISIS when they came to power. Have you ever read about the Bonfire of the Vanities? Religious morons love to destroy history.
Nietzsche's Moustache (23 days ago)
+blue_tetris Lol. "It's an American thing" That's cute. No, it's a _European_ thing. Britain, in particular, is famous for collecting s**t from throughout the Empire.
Nietzsche's Moustache (23 days ago)
It's about keeping them safe. A lot of the places these artifacts were found don't have the technology to preserve them. Also, groups like ISIS intentionally destroy priceless historical artifacts.
Draco B (27 days ago)
It depends. Return something to Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia. Watch as they destroy it.
Herr Schmidt (28 days ago)
There are clear situation but then there are also situations like in Syria or Iraq, where giving them back would have destroyed them, for the ancestors of the creators as well as mankind. In the case of natives, there is the question whether there would be the option of exhibiting and conserve them - what is worse, keeping them from direct access of the culture they belong to or keep them for coming generations. The sad truth is that a lot of those artifacts only remain because they were stolen. There is just a huge grey area and the decision has to be made from case to case.
mhtinla (1 month ago)
Returning museum pieces on demand of tribes is understandable. Proactively returning pieces to tribes that may not care anymore is something else.
SilverFox (1 month ago)
ok, let`s say they want to get their cultural objective back for their own reasons, then pay back the money invested to find that object, i mean, that is fair. Let`s see how many will pay for them then.
Chi Chiu (7 hours ago)
u mean pay for something that was stolen bullshit
Michael Park (1 month ago)
Most of these artifacts were found by individuals or funded by colleges or other organizations not government funding and since many of them are donated why should they pay them if they themselves got it for free
Brenda Rua (1 month ago)
Interesting idea.
Can't you make wargod replicas? Both sides win.
akram4179 (1 month ago)
+daddyleon Unfortunately the museums that hold these artifacts would disagree. And since they are from western countries, no one will force them to give up their possession.
daddyleon (1 month ago)
*+akram4179* the 'tribe' from whom it was stolen.
akram4179 (1 month ago)
Who gets the original?
daddyleon (1 month ago)
Of course you can, but the silly people who like originals will say only the originals are worth millions of dollars while the replicas are next to worthless.
Yehuda Moshe Ftaya (1 month ago)
The Jewish brain strikes again...:)
Hopi Ng (1 month ago)
Take care of people as much as you take care of objects. World would be a better place.
feezkoh (1 month ago)
This is not thought provoking, it's obvious,
Bob Miller (1 month ago)
Well, what's obvious to you or me might be outrageous to other folks. I remember a few years ago in my neck of the woods, some local university had uncovered an 8,000 year old Native American skull, and the local tribe instantly demanded that it be given back. "Let someone at least take a fucking DNA sample from the thing before we bury it back in the Earth forever," I thought. Which the university did in the end, but not before being sued by the tribe, who won their case and eventually got the skull back. Frankly, if you could have somehow described to the neolithic man that the skull belonged to that his existence and his bloodline would be remembered for all time to come by both his descendants and everyone else in the world, my guess is that he would have been pretty fucking thrilled by that prospect. Most indigenous peoples in history practiced one form or another of ancestor worship, and what's more "ancestor worshipy" than have a high-resolution DNA sample with a hard timestamp that will never be forgotten as long as humanity continues to exists?
Jared Knight (1 month ago)
Not for some of the idiots in this comment section, clearly.
Sailen Katel (1 month ago)
Utter nonsense. A thing is a thing, not a being.
Brian Kagimu (1 month ago)
Before i watched this talk, i hadn't recognized how much important work archaeologists and museums do play in our world.
Shahram Nikbakhsh (1 month ago)
Brian Kagimu They stole all heritage of third world countries
rawrimbord (1 month ago)
Stolen culture is only a problem when you’re white, but when it comes to any other race it is ignored lmfaooo
Sim W8ing (1 month ago)
+Violet Fyxe Lol you are a troll.
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
+Sim W8ing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xu_Fu Where do you think Yamato Japanese originated?
Sim W8ing (1 month ago)
+Violet Fyxe Man I read the link and it has nothing to do with China, that's Japanese killing local minorities. How did you find china in this "Japanese colonization of Hokkaido" story?
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
+Sim W8ing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people#Meiji_Restoration_and_later https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history#Japanese_colonization_of_Hokkaido At the beginning of Sakoku (xenophobic isolationism), the were 80,000 Ainu. When it ended, there were 17,000. According to Japanese records, they all died of smallpox when the rest of the world wasn't watching.
Gitanjali Rachakonda (1 month ago)
Yall can't even preserve your own culture while all of us can do it despite all the white people ruling us for YEARS?
Wayne Marshall (1 month ago)
What is a curator to do? Their job.
iced coffee noctule (1 month ago)
lustwaffe9000 (1 month ago)
This guy’s delivery of speech is so overly dramatic, its almost cringe-worthy.
Christopher Fairfield (1 month ago)
SJW, COMMUNIST BULLSHIT.................. Former Yugoslavia would like their country and culture back.......WHEN YOU LOSE IT AINT YOUR'S ANY MORE....IF YOU FIND IT........ ITS YOURS...........IF I FIND A HUNDRED DOLLARS.......THEN SOME ONE CLAIMS THEY LEFT IT THEIR............DO I GIVE IT BACK TO THEM??????? OR DO I PUT IT IN MY POCKET?
mhtinla (1 month ago)
Next: Native Americans want America back.
Nietzsche's Moustache (23 days ago)
After that: The earlier Native Americans want America back from last week's Native Americans who took it from _them._
Scrimmy Bingus (1 month ago)
We just stole the whole world from the australopithicans and Neanderthals we should give it back to them.
amrfts (1 month ago)
dude, I usually don bother with YT comments but this one is so stupid I have to waste time taking it apart. First of your use of the word lebensraum is both concerning and amusing in equal measure the fact you have found a way to compare Native Americans to Nazi's defies logic and leads me to suspect that you are a troll. Not all native Americans were nomadic some of them did have land and the USA did sign treaties saying they would not encroach on said land any further, frankly Im not sure why the native Americans held any faith in said treaties after they were routinely dishonoured. You see seem to be referring to the Dakota access protests, bear in mind that said pipeline is a threat to the regions water supply and burial grounds, so yeah if an organisation starts construction in your area which might mean that the water won't be safe to drink and your relatives graves will be disturbed you have a right to try and stop that. Also you seem to condone the use of tear gas on these people, I know there is a more eloquent way to say this but your comment is a perfect example of the kind of stage four inoperable cancer that pervades YT comment sections.
Valknut (1 month ago)
Or how about we don’t the “natives” stop whining about land and thier ideas of Lebensraum. Realise they made us keep paying and fighting for land we controlled already and that they are NOMADIC AND THEY DONT AND DID NOT HAVE A LAND! and the UN what are the6 going to do demand the best nation in the world give up most of the Midwest that is more German, Irish, and of course American than Indian because America used tear gas on illegal protesters, protesting a pipeline that was not even in ”their land”
mhtinla (1 month ago)
Next next: European Americans want their civilization and technologies back before returning America to Native Americans.
Плохо! Нет Русских субтитров!
Shirish Shukla (1 month ago)
When will Indians get back their kohinoor diamond that was once the crown jewel of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh
ynderulets tyalikanky (1 month ago)
These people died ages ago. Indians aren't that people who were exploited. However, i would hire some hobbits to throw it back into some kimberlite volcanic tube. Diamonds are overrated.
Shirish Shukla (1 month ago)
+Dack Hacksaw they brought railway for efficient extraction of raw materials ,for their own benefit
Dack Hacksaw (1 month ago)
Shirish Shukla - well after 150 years, the British brought you railways and modern government, and unified India. You should be glad the British ruled and not the Spanish.
Vinay N.K (1 month ago)
We do not want it back. It should be with the British to remind them (and us) of their (and our) evil history
Shirish Shukla (1 month ago)
+Dack Hacksaw then what were the britishers doing for 150 years in the land of 75% open defecators ??? They were there to clean it probably 😂😂😂😂
American girl (1 month ago)
An inanimate object is not a Being.
mhtinla (1 month ago)
Apparently their War Gods failed them.
Violet Fyxe (1 month ago)
It's almost as though gods are created by primitive cultures to explain what they don't understand.
Sane Afrikan (1 month ago)
mhtinla lol
Phillip James Clearman (1 month ago)
Because of SJW politics that everything is offensive, possessing objects that we use to study a culture is offensive and “appropriating culture.” And cowtowing to people who don’t even use museums
Bob Miller (1 month ago)
"cowtowing to people who don’t even use museums" Hey fuckboy, your swastika is showing :/
drobvensick (1 month ago)
Ok I get what you are saying. But are you ok if The Decleration of Indepence is stolen and is stored in a museum in a foreign country like China and Russia? After all its just an old parchment with a lot of copies of it. And besides they can take better care of it just like in the USA.
Dimetropteryx (1 month ago)
You don't need to indefinitely possess the objects to study the culture. And I absolutely guarantee that you have never in your redneck life set foot in a museum.
S T (1 month ago)
How about the fact they are safer in museums abroad than being destroyed by fanatics in their native lands? Yes, I'm talking about ISIS for one.
ynderulets tyalikanky (1 month ago)
some arabs have no relation to treasures they broken
Dack Hacksaw (1 month ago)
Xeno Phon - and Vladimir Putin has nothing to do with the novichok attacks in the UK either. How is the weather outside in Moscow, today?
Dack Hacksaw (1 month ago)
Different - Removed because of the Ottoman Empire occupying Greece. England saved those treasures. They should be thanked profusely.
Dack Hacksaw (1 month ago)
stefanos2691 - 9/11 is unrelated to cultural treasures. I'm sorry I need to point this out to you. May I recommend a visit to a library? They have books, books contain knowledge which you might find useful.
Dack Hacksaw (1 month ago)
Morpheus - it isn't. They didn't create it, they have no right to destroy it.
Tagore with Lyric (1 month ago)
here under 50
Kyota Tsushima (1 month ago)
Vexo ...
Kelzo Laitaoui (1 month ago)
Here before 100
exit 1Ø1 (1 month ago)
because apart from nobody knowing who _wilder_ is, they sure af dont know what _fury_ means when he keeps saying "lineal champion" you bunch of dossers.
Nehemiah Roy (1 month ago)
nice 😊☺
bestandrogame videos (1 month ago)
Kilamlungbe Daime (1 month ago)
#Ted ..thanks for the knowledge.
Alaco Pillo (1 month ago)
I love this stuff

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