John Oliver’s Show on World-Class Art Museums & Their Looted Art: Watch It Free Online

From John Oliv­er comes a com­ic take on a seri­ous subject–how West­ern muse­ums have often built their col­lec­tions, espe­cial­ly in antiq­ui­ties, through loot­ing art from col­o­nized nations. In this 34 minute episode, Oliv­er dis­cuss­es “some of the world’s most pres­ti­gious muse­ums, why they con­tain so many stolen goods, [and] the mar­ket that con­tin­ues to ille­gal­ly trade antiq­ui­ties.” It’s one of the lat­est episodes from HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliv­er.

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Relat­ed Con­tent 

The British Muse­um is Full of Loot­ed Arti­facts

Take a Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Tour of the World’s Stolen Art

Lis­ten to Last Seen, a True-Crime Pod­cast That Takes You Inside an Unsolved, $500 Mil­lion Art Heist

When Ger­man Per­for­mance Artist Ulay Stole Hitler’s Favorite Paint­ing & Hung it in the Liv­ing Room of a Turk­ish Immi­grant Fam­i­ly (1976)

When Pablo Picas­so and Guil­laume Apol­li­naire Were Accused of Steal­ing the Mona Lisa (1911)

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Comments (2)
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  • Jonathan Collins says:

    Boy, this web­site nev­er gets tired of play­ing revi­sion­ist his­to­ry. What do you think would have hap­pened had the British, or the French, or any of the great colo­nial pow­ers had not secured these arti­facts? Do you think they would have ever seen the light of day? It amazes me, it real­ly does, how self hat­ing peo­ple have become. The British in par­tic­u­lar have giv­en the world so many gifts, it would be near­ly impos­si­ble to doc­u­ment them all. Were they saints? Please. But to dis­count an entire cul­ture, due to the new norms that decree that any cul­ture that doesn’t bow to the altar of Woke-ism and self fla­gel­la­tion is insane. But, I’m not sur­prised. That’s life in 2022. I’ll wait for my com­ment to be delet­ed now!

  • ThomasFromTN says:

    If anoth­er cul­ture choos­es (or not) to offer their arti­facts on dis­play for the rest of the world to absorb…THAT IS THE BUSINESS OF THAT OTHER CULTURE. What it is NOT…is the right of the British, or the French, or any euro-cen­tric coun­try to employ arbi­trary coun­te­nance as to whether or not loot­ing OTHER cul­tures’ prop­er­ty is moral­ly jus­ti­fied.

    Play the vic­tim “role” all you want (which, by the way, you wear absurd­ly bad­ly giv­en any “non-revi­sion­ist” appre­ci­a­tion of Euro-cen­tric culture)…but the facts on the ground are intrin­si­cal­ly sim­ple:

    Britain, among oth­er Euro-cen­tric coun­tries, STOLE prop­er­ty from oth­er cultures…then have the audac­i­ty to actu­al­ly throw the theft right in the face of the cul­tures from which they stole them by plac­ing them Muse­ums FAR REMOVED from their cul­ture of ori­gin.

    I’m con­vinced I can take bet­ter care of every piece of prop­er­ty or asset you pos­sess — your home, your car, your bank accounts…everything; ergo, seems to me I have every right to exer­cise priv­i­lege to TAKE THEM from you.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.