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Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b 1872; d Srinagar, 1955).

English art historian, museum curator, educationalist, painter and collector. In 1899, after a short period of training as an archaeologist in Egypt, Brown went to India, where he served as curator of Lahore Museum and principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. While working in these posts, he was also assistant director of the Delhi Exhibition of 1902–3 (see Delhi, §II), under George Watt. In 1909 he took up employment in Calcutta as principal of the Government School of Art and curator of the art section of the Indian Museum. In 1927 he retired from the Indian Educational Service to take up an appointment as secretary and curator of the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, where he remained until 1947. After this he lived on a houseboat on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.

Brown’s earliest publications included a contribution to the catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition and a descriptive guide to the Department of Industrial Art at Lahore Museum in ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...