HL Deb 19 May 1981 vol 420 cc944-5WA
Lord Brockway

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will initiate a discussion with UNESCO, or adopt other means, to consider how and to what extent art treasures transferred from third world countries in colonial[...] can be restored to their countries of origin.

Lord Carrington

The question of the return of art treasures to their countries of origin is already under active consideration with UNESCO. At its twentieth General Conference in 1978, UNESCO established an Inter-governmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation. The United Kingdom participates in the committee's work with observer status. The International Committee's first report was submitted to UNESCO's twenty-first General Conference in Belgrade in August 1980. The next meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee will be in September of this year.