Rebroadcast: Emiline Smith on Demystifying Cultural Trafficking and Nepal’s Quest for Restorative Justice
PODS by PEIFebruary 27, 2024x
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00:40:2755.58 MB

Rebroadcast: Emiline Smith on Demystifying Cultural Trafficking and Nepal’s Quest for Restorative Justice

Last month, in January, several stolen cultural heritage were returned to Nepal from the United States. Among them were sacred idols of the Hindu god Uma-Maheshwar that were stolen almost 50 years ago from Chyasal, Patan. They were identified recently in the storage facilities of the Brooklyn Museum, which began repariation, after the efforts of Newa Guthi New York.

Locals welcomed their Gods with heartfelt celebrations and a puja for forgiveness. The idols were taken around the city in chariots and, finally, re-instated in Chyasal hiti.

In recent years, Nepal has seen many such successful repatriation efforts. The trafficking of cultural heritage had once left local communities with immeasurable pain and loss. So, In this re-broadcast, we bring my conversation with criminologist Dr Emiline Smith about cultural heritage trafficking in Nepal.


Originally aired on 26 September 2022, in this episode, PEI's ⁠Khushi⁠ and Emiline delve into the obscure world of cultural heritage trafficking and its impact on communities, with a particular focus on Nepal. The two tap into Emiline’s expertise as a criminologist to understand the processes involved in the trafficking of cultural objects and its history and persistence in Nepal. They then discuss the repatriation of such objects and how restorative justice can be achieved in the process.

⁠Dr. Emiline Smith⁠ is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Glasgow (Scotland). She is a Fellow of the Centre for Criminology at the University of Hong Kong and a member of the Trafficking Culture Research Consortium and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. In addition, she is an advisor to the Nepal Heritage Recovery Campaign and several other NGOs. She recently authored and published a trilingual storybook for children titled ‘Pema and the Stolen Statue from Dolpa’; for more information, see www.stolenstatues.com.


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