Continuing in our three-part series on processes of returning objects and ancestors to their source communities, we turn our attention to “restitution”. Often used (mistakenly!) in place of “repatriation”, whilst the former refers to the process through items are returned to communities or individual claimants, the latter is a process of return mandated by a nation’s or state’s request. This is a subtle, but important difference to be mindful of when using “repatriation” as a shorthand term for larger calls for, or processes of, return.

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