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Department of Social Anthropology


Dr Carine Durand (Musée d'ethnographie de Genève)

Recognizing indigenous peoples' rights through museum practice in Switzerland


Bio: Dr Carine Ayélé DURAND is a social anthropologist who graduated from Cambridge University in 2010. Over the past 20 years, she has held various positions as curator and researcher in cultural heritage in France, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain. Chief Curator of the MEG between 2015 and 2022, she has been Director since July 2022.


While Swiss museums are paying increasing attention to sacred and ceremonial objects as well as ancestral remains in general, few of them highlight Switzerland's legal compliance with the international human rights of indigenous peoples, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous indigenous peoples, when examining requests for repatriation. This is because repatriations are above all perceived as moral and ethical in the museum sector.

This presentation aims to emphasise that legal obligations, based on international human rights must be taken into account in the repatriation of cultural property and ancestral remains.

Based on a recent case study of the repatriation of two sacred objects and three human remains from the Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (MEG), my presentation will
examine how MEG is committed to implementing the international human rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to control their cultural heritage.

Image Copyright: MEG/Johnathan Watts

Tuesday, 20 February, 2024 - 16:00
Event location: 
Hopkinson Lecture Theatre