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Legal analysis of the George Latimer and Agustin Stahl collections: can we or can’t we reclaim, that’s the question!

Author(s): Yasha Rodriguez ; Paola Schiappacasse

Year: 2016

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Summary

In 1874, upon his death, George Latimer bequeathed his collection of archaeological artifacts from Puerto Rico to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. In the early 20th century Agustin Stahl sold his collections to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. For many decades archaeologists have hoped to be able to request the return of archaeological collections of Puerto Rican pre-Colonial artifacts located in museums within the United States. These two collections are used as a case study in which we analyze the legal framework and legal arguments that could be made in a formal request. The first part of this presentation will delineate a brief history of the Latimer and Stahl collections in order to address their provenance, their potential relationship to well documented sites within the island, and their importance for archaeological interpretation. The second part will analyze the legal status of those two collections at the time of their acquisition by the museums and the legal arguments and/or precedents that could form the basis for repatriation.


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Cite this Record

Legal analysis of the George Latimer and Agustin Stahl collections: can we or can’t we reclaim, that’s the question!. Yasha Rodriguez, Paola Schiappacasse. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404038)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Caribbean


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America