Virtual Repatriation: It Is Neither Virtual nor Repatriation

  • Robin BoastEmail author
  • Jim EnoteEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Archaeology book series (BRIEFSARCHAE, volume 8)


Virtual Repatriation has caught the attention of the anthropological, archaeological, museological, and indigenous communities in recent years. The conjoined terms have been applied to everything from an alternative for material repatriation, to Reciprocal Research Networks, to almost any form of digital data sharing with source communities. There is no doubt that there is, and has been, a great number of good works that designate themselves as Virtual Repatriation. However, the problem, as we see it, is not the works themselves, in most instances, but the conjunction of the “virtual” with “repatriation.” In this chapter, the authors will challenge the use of the terms “virtual,” but mostly the term “repatriation” in conjunction with anything but patrimony. The challenge is not merely pedantic, but points to the larger social and political implications, and communal and historic consequences, of collapsing patrimony with their representations.


Digital Object Data Sharing Source Community Social Computing Tribal Nation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Capaciteitsgroep MediastudiesUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Museum of Archaeology and AnthropologyUniversity of Cambridge, A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage CenterZuniUSA

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