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The Menil Collection & Byzantine Fresco Chapel Present A Roundtable Discussion

Interior detail, Byzantine Fresco Chapel

Interior detail, Byzantine Fresco Chapel

Cultural Heritage 2.0: Participatory Stewardship
The Menil Collection
Byzantine Fresco Chapel
Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 7 p.m.

Who owns a particular work of art, idea, concept, process, or story? Which museum or library, country or government, people or person? Today such questions are blurring lines and crossing disciplines as they challenge professionals in the arts, law, medicine, science, business, and industry.

In recent years cultural heritage has tended to be seen as an issue of the rights of nations or institutions to make ultimate claims of ownership over works of art. National and international authorities have been confronted with many challenges, yielding wildly triumphant or deeply unsatisfying results.

The Menil Collection set a pioneering example with its historic agreement with the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus to rescue, restore, and exhibit the 13th century frescoes currently housed in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel on the museum campus. Concluding in 2012, this agreement reflects the Menil’s commitment to responsible stewardship of works from nations and cultures around the world.

Cultural Heritage 2.0: Participatory Stewardship will explore a broad set of cultural heritage issues, including how local and global concepts of ownership and identity affect the outcomes of biomedical research, the discovery and accessibility of new energy sources, the management of cultural artifacts, and the shaping of public policy.

Join the Menil and Byzantine Fresco Chapel for this fascinating and timely discussion. Admission is free, but seating is limited.


Panel Moderated by Kristina Van Dyke

Joseph Flowers manages Software and Regulatory Compliance for Well Services at Schlumberger. An engineer, he is an inventor involved in numerous American and foreign patents.

Rex Koontz is Director of the School of Art at the University of Houston and an art historian specializing in Ancient Mesoamerican culture. His research and practice is concerned with the implications of digitization projects for scholars’ and the public’s concepts of material objects and access to them.

James Leach is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland where he is a specialist on New Guinea. His research focuses on the transformative effects of technology on knowledge production, creativity, and concepts of ownership.

Kirstin Matthews is a fellow in Science and Technology Policy at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Her research addresses ethical issues that arise at the intersection of biomedical research and public policy.

Robin Nava is Worldwide General Counsel for Well Services at Schlumberger. She is an expert in intellectual property whose work addresses diverse notions of knowledge production and ownership throughout the world.

Kristina Van Dyke is Curator for Collections and Research at the Menil Collection and a specialist in the arts of Africa. Her research explores the impact of cultural heritage policies on the study of West African history.

Interior detail, Byzantine Fresco Chapel

Interior detail, Byzantine Fresco Chapel

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