Skip to main content


Restitution logo

Episode 4 of What Are Museums For?: released on 27 January 2022

Every object tells a story, and the stories of how objects ended up in museums can be fraught with political and moral complexity, and even violence. In this episode of What Are Museums For?, Fitzwilliam Museum Director Luke Syson and Athena Art Foundation Director Nicola Jennings are joined by Professor Nicholas Thomas and Dr Donna Yates, to consider questions of institutional and community authority in the context of historical collections. Why do debates – and actions – around restitution matter? What responsibility do collectors/collections have to investigate and respond to the histories of the objects in their care? How does the restitution of objects fit with a broader desire to understand all cultures in all parts of the world?

This podcast is a Fitzwilliam Museum, Colnaghi Foundation and Athena Art Foundation co-production.

Banner image: Benin Bronzes display in the British Museum © Joyofmuseums, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.



Other podcasts you might like

Sign up to our emails

Be the first to hear about our news, exhibitions, events and more…

Sign up