The University Museum Acquisitions Policy

May 2, 1978

Originally Published in 1980

View PDF

Whereas, in the spirit of the April 1, 1970 decision of the Board of Managers of The Univer­sity Museum of the University of Pennsylvania entitled “Regarding the Illicit Trade in Art Ob­jects,” The University Museum wishes to reiterate its support for the subsequent November T970 “UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibit­ing and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property”; and

Whereas, The University Museum wishes t❑ strengthen its commitment in this area in the light of the 1970 resolution of the Archaeological Institute of America [Archaeology 24(2), p. 165, 1971], the 1971 resolution of the Society for American Archaeology (American Antiquity 36(3), pp. 253-54, 1971), the 1972 resolution of the American Anthropological Association (AAA Annual Report 1972, p, 60, 1973), the 1973 joint Professional Policy on Museum Acquisitions resolution of the American Association of Museums (Museum News 52(1), p. 48, 1973), and the joint 1973 resolution of the ICOM Committee on Ethnography and the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (see Appendix, pp. 5-15).

Now therefore, the Board of Managers, Director, Curators and staff of The University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania reaffirm that they will not knowingly acquire, by gift, bequest, exchange or purchase, any materials known or suspected to he illegally exported from their countries of origin; nor will they knowingly support this illegal trade by authenticating or expressing opinions concerning such material, and will actively discourage the collection of such material, exhibiting such material in The University Museum, or loaning University Museum objects to exhibitions of illegally acquired objects in other museums.

Moreover The University Museum reserves the right to refuse any loans to museums or museum departments that, in its opinion, knowingly violate the UNESCO convention;

And, in the interests of conserving archaeo­logical sites, gaining scientific information, and preserving our own prehistoric past, the Museum further affirms that it will not knowingly in the future acquire materials unscientifically or illegally excavated in the United States after World War II;

And The University Museum also pledges that it will not knowingly acquire ethnographic speci­mens exported from those countries with newly established laws prohibiting the export of such material following the effective date of such laws; it will not knowingly acquire stolen ethno­graphic material or material known to be cur­rently used for religious or ceremonial purposes, without the permission of the specific groups or individuals with jurisdiction over the material; and it will make every effort to make available loans, copies, or gifts of near duplicates, and to provide professional services relevant to these materials to the original producers, their heirs, or other properly constituted legal representatives.

Cite This Article

"The University Museum Acquisitions Policy." Expedition Magazine 22, no. 3 (March, 1980): -. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/the-university-museum-acquisitions-policy/


This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

Report problems and issues to digitalmedia@pennmuseum.org.