‘Roma Routes’: Heritage as a Path to Dialogue
This chapter discusses how the repatriation question is being addressed in the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN) and the wider challenges involved in sharing tangible and intangible cultural heritage. It deals with the policy of repatriation of human remains, connected to ethnic identity, and to contemporary debates on historical and cultural narratives, which currently lack a common European policy. The role of natural history museums is to build up collections, to carry out research and to propagate knowledge. Museum professional communities, now operating more and more in networks, will, of course, play a determining role in the application of these concepts. In Australia, repatriation began with the enactment of the 1984 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, with an extension of federal law to the cultural property of the Aboriginal people. On the one hand, globalisation concept stemming from the logic of traditional societies, while on the other, the universality concept stemming from that of museums and scientists.