Cases of return and restitution under the aegis of the Intergovernmental Committee

The Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation has assisted in several successful cases of restitution:

  • 2011: Germany - Turkey
    At the beginning of May 2011, the Secretariat was informed that a bilateral agreement has been reached between Germany and Turkey on the Bogazkoy Sphinx. This case was presented to the Committee in 1987. 
  • 2010: Barbier-Mueller Museum (Switzerland) - United Republic of Tanzania
    In May 2010, the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva agreed for the restitution of a Makondé Mask to the United Republic of Tanzania. The discussions in the framework of the Committee began in 2006. 
  • 1988: USA - Thailand
    In 1988, the return of the Phra Narai lintel to Thailand from the United States. The case was resolved by mediation.
  • 1987: German Democratic Republic - Turkey
    In 1987, the return of the 7,000 Bogazköy cuneiform tablets from the German Democratic Republic to Turkey. The case was resolved by direct return.
  • 1986: Cincinnati Art Museum (USA) - Jordan
    Within the framework of an exchange, and following a request submitted by Jordan in 1983 to the Intergovernmental Committee, the Cincinnati Art Museum (USA) and the Department of Antiquities of Amman (Jordan) decided, in 1986, to jointly exchange moulds of the respective parts of the sandstone panel of Tyche with the zodiac in their possession, in order to be able to present the work in its entirety. This case was resolved by mediation.
  • 1983: Italy - Ecuador
    In 1983, Italy returns over 12,000 pre-Columbian objects to Ecuador. The case was resolved after a seven-year litigation. The moral support expressed by the Committee was recognized by the Ecuadorian authorities as a significant factor in the success of their cause.







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