Keeping Their Marbles - the exhibition catalogue from Museum Bookstore available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Keeping Their Marbles

Regular price £24.95

'An outstanding achievement, clear-headed, wide-ranging and incisive' - The Sunday Times

Keeping Their Marbles - Tiffany Jenkins

The fabulous collections housed in the world's most famous museums are trophies from an imperial age. Now the countries from which these treasures came would like them back. The Greek demand for the return of the Elgin Marbles is the tip of an iceberg that includes claims for the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria, sculpture from Turkey, scrolls and porcelain taken from the Chinese Summer Palace, textiles from Peru, the bust of Nefertiti, Native American sacred objects and Aboriginal human remains.

In Keeping Their Marbles, Tiffany Jenkins tells the story of how western museums came to acquire these objects. She investigates why repatriation claims have soared in recent decades and demonstrates how it is the guilt and insecurity of the museums themselves that have stoked the demands for return. Contrary to the arguments of campaigners, she shows that sending artefacts back will not achieve the desired social change nor repair the wounds of history.

Instead, this ground-breaking book makes the case for museums as centres of knowledge, demonstrating that no object has a single home and no one culture owns culture.

  • Author: Tiffany Jenkins
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Date published: February 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0199657599
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm

'Ms. Jenkins has produced a courageous and well-argued book; the howls you hear in the background are those of the contrition crowd' -  Wall Street Journal

'Brilliant and fascinating' - Spectator 

'The dubious means by which museum collections were gathered has fuelled the demands for treasures to be repatriated. Surely they ought to be returned? No, says Tiffany Jenkins, a culture writer, and she marshals a powerful case' - The Times 

'An outstanding achievement, clear-headed, wide-ranging and incisive' - The Sunday Times

'Jenkin's book provides a welcome introduction to some of the questions facing museums today' - Literary Review 

'Anyone who thinks that issues of cultural property and "repatriation" are simple should read this book. Jenkins elegantly explores the complexity of individual cases such as the Elgin Marbles and of the big overarching question: who owns culture?' - Mary Beard