Restorative justice? Questions arising out of the Hobby Lobby return of cuneiform tablets to Iraq

  • Neil Brodie Universidade Federal de Pelotas


The aim of this paper is to understand the harms potentially caused to Iraq by the looting and trafficking of cuneiform tablets and their consequent study and publication, showing how these harms are not fully repaired by the return of the tablets to Iraq. The processes and consequences of publications related to these collections are also considered, discussing publication rights and intellectual property and introducing the concept of restorative justice in the context of the Museum of the Bible (MOTB) technical assistance announcement for 2020, for studies and future curation of the collections in question.