History experts push museums to return stolen cultural artifacts

Ngaire Blankenberg has brought her children to museums around the world, and by now they expect to hear her point out things that shouldn’t be there.

“They are always braced for a rant,” she said with a laugh.

Blankenberg, who is South African and the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, said seeing objects that may have been obtained unethically can make her “tense and uncomfortable.” Objects legally procured by museums may still have been stolen in their history, experts told USA TODAY. .

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