Sophie Lenski talks at the Herrenhausen Symposium "Positioning Ethnological Museums in the 21st Century" about the legal aspects of the return of ethnological objects. She points out that the legal standards of the time when the objects were brought to Europe would have to be applied even today. But that leads to the dilemma that these legal standards do not fit the moral standards we would apply nowadays. At present, a problem for the legal return of objects lies in the traditional legal framework of the public international law and / or private law do not include clear procedures on how to replace objects to indigenous groups. Lenski presents different approaches like treaties and conventions trying to solve these problems.

Sophie Lenski studied law in Berlin (Humboldt University), Rome and Paris and has been a researcher at the Humboldt University Berlin from 2005 to 2006. After her PhD in law at the Humboldt University Berlin, she did her legal traineeship in Berlin (at the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), in Venice and Paris from 2005 to 2007. From 2007 to 2012 she has been a senior lecturer in Public Law at the University Bayreuth and the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. In her habilitation at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich she dealt with “The Public Law of Culture. Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage between Protection, Promotion and Valorisation”. Since 2012 she is a professor for Public Law, Media and Art Law.

Photo: Philip Bartz for Volkswagen Foundation

ScienceUncut - Science Podcast by Volkswagen Foundation