Conference on working with cultural objects and manuscripts in Finland, June 2017

In an international conference, organised by Working with Cultural Objects and Manuscripts (WCOM), which will take place at the National Museum of Finland, Helsinki, on June 5-6, 2017, the topic of trafficked cultural objects in Finland is adressed. This in order to generate awareness and kick-start a national debate. The conference is organised with funding from the University of Helsinki Future Development Fund and generous support from the National Museum of Finland and ICOM Finland.

The following keynote speakers are already confirmed:

  Dr. Neil Brodie
Senior Research Fellow, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford
Prof. Patty Gerstenblith
Distinguished Research Professor of Law, College of Law, DePaul University, USA
Prof. Christopher Rollston
Associate Professor of Northwest Semitic languages and literatures, George Washington University, USA

WCOM is a collaborative project which centres around an international symposium to address the topic of trafficked cultural objects in Finland, in order to generate awareness and kick-start a national debate. Connected to this, WCOM will carry out a survey of the key stakeholders, including enforcement agencies, private individuals, members of the art trade, and museum professionals. In addition to the usual academic output, WCOM aims to create:

  1. an online toolkit resource to help stakeholders in Finland to make informed decisions about acquisition, import and export, and to recognise the key points of provenance research. The format of this will be informed by the research, but may include a list of key questions to ask when considering acquiring cultural material, and links to organizations that can provide more information.
  2. two sets of policy recommendations: firstly for the University of Helsinki to create a code of ethics to inform scholarly interaction with cultural material, and secondly for decision-makers concerning import and export policy for cultural objects entering and leaving Finland.

The online registration will be announced soon.

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