The Easel

15th June 2021

The Inheritance of Nations

The Horses sculptures in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice were looted from Constantinople. Napoleon later looted them to Paris. And after Waterloo, The Horses returned again to Venice. Turkey has never sought their return – does that extinguish their entitlement? Restitution cases like the Benin bronzes seem clear cut; so many others are not. “Who owns the inheritance of nations that no longer exist? Culture is an elastic concept. An active heir is a rightful heir.”