[OpenGLAM] Response to the Sarr-Savoy Report

Wallace, Andrea A.Wallace at exeter.ac.uk
Fri Apr 19 12:04:48 UTC 2019

Dear Open GLAM Community,

Mathilde Pavis (University of Exeter) and I have written a response to the Sarr-Savoy Report that was commissioned by the French Government on the restitution of African Cultural Heritage (available at http://restitutionreport2018.com/sarr_savoy_en.pdf).

The Sarr-Savoy Report goes into great detail about the important issues surrounding restitution, but includes very little about digitisation, IP rights, and open access, which raises a number of concerns. This is so despite the fact the Report’s authors are in favour of “a radical practice of sharing, including how one rethinks the politics of image rights use” and setting a firm objective for “free access to these materials as well as the free use of the images and documents,” in dialogue with relevant parties. Our Response urges the French Government to reconsider the minimal recommendations made by the Report on digitisation and open access and to dedicate further resources to researching and co-developing digitisation solutions with African communities of origin.

Sent last week to the Ministry of Culture, the Response was supported and signed by 108 scholars and practitioners working in the fields of intellectual property law and material and digital cultural heritage at universities, heritage institutions and organisations around the world. Both the French and English versions are available CC BY via Zenodo.

English: https://zenodo.org/record/2620597
French: https://zenodo.org/record/2623964

We would appreciate it if you might circulate the Response to your networks and anyone else who might be interested. We plan to develop this into a more formal paper, so any comments would be welcome.


Andrea Wallace

Dr Andrea Wallace
Lecturer in Law
Exeter Law School, University of Exeter
Amory Building, Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4RJ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)798 324 4770

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