College Art Association

CAA News Today

New AAM Standards on Cultural Property

posted by Christopher Howard — Sep 04, 2008

The American Association of Museums (AAM) has established new standards for the museum acquisition of archaeological material and ancient art that emphasize proper provenance of such objects and complete transparency on the part of the acquiring institutions. The product of two years of concerted research and vetting from the museum field, the Standards Regarding Archaeological Material and Ancient Art provide clear ethical guidance on collecting such material to discourage illicit excavation of archaeological sites and monuments. The standards also require museums to create a publicly available collections policy that sets institutional standards for provenance when acquiring archaeological material and ancient art.

CAA has also established Standards and Guidelines on similar topics, including the Resolution Concerning the Acquisition of Cultural Properties Originating in Foreign Countries (1973) and the Statement on the Importance of Documenting the Historical Context of Objects and Sites (2004).