18 November 2020

PhD Defence Vanessa Tünsmeyer "Repatriation of Sacred Indigenous Cultural Heritage and the Law – Lessons from the United States and Canada"

Vanessa Tunsmeyer

On 22 October 2020, at 12:00, MACCH affiliated researcher Vanessa Tünsmeyer defended her PhD thesis “Repatriation of Sacred Indigenous Cultural Heritage and the Law – Lessons from the United States and Canada.”

Vanessa Tünsmeyer's research examined how the repatriation of sacred indigenous cultural heritage to indigenous communities can be facilitated via the law. On the basis of the experiences made in the last three decades of repatriation in Canada and the United States, the research developed different repatriation models to aid legislators and museums. All of this was done against the backdrop of contemporary human rights law to help align museum and government practice with contemporary indigenous rights standards. This also yielded a set of nine repatriation-specific guidelines that can be used to better align repatriation with human rights, irrespective of the method of repatriation that is chosen.

The PhD defence took place in the aula of Maastricht University's main building, Minderbroedersberg 4-6, in Maastricht.