The Return Address: Where Does Heritage Belong?

Author: Written & Directed by Issabella Orlando, Produced by Eliana Henrich, Director of Photography: Jamie Jsn

A short documentary shot on location in London and Paris, The Return Address explores the question of why heritage objects matter to each and every one of us, and where they belong: in museums in world cities, or in the places they originally came from. With a neutral, holistic approach, it presents both sides of this long-ongoing debate, both the benefits and problems with repatriating artefacts. An interdisciplinary panel of heritage experts walk viewers through both practical factors ­– threats to objects’ safety, where heritage is best cared for, in what display context it will make the most sense to visitors – and artefacts’ psychological and sentimental value. The film outlines the impact of heritage on everyone, from museum-goers in megacities to communities and displaced refugees all over the world who share in the cultural background of these objects.

The Return Address overall illuminates the true value of heritage – its ability to resonate with each and every one of us, and its poignant connection to cultural identity. It invites us all to take part in a discussion that is by no means restricted to curators and academics.

The film’s social media platforms thus exist as open spaces for comments, agreement and disagreement, where viewers are encouraged to continue this conversation: Facebook or Instagram.

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