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We hope you are all well in these strange times, and managing the difficulties and
distractions of working from home, or of being furloughed. We are aware that members who
have been furloughed may not be able to access work e-mails if that is the address we have,
so communication is difficult unless people check the website.

MEG is still working. You should have heard (as if you hadn’t guessed) that this year’s
conference at Liverpool is cancelled. We are planning to publish the papers that would have
been given as JME 34, for distribution next year. We are looking at plans for the 2021
Conference and will share them as soon as we can. We are assuming that by May next
year it will be possible to hold the conference. We hope so, as the conference is the main
networking opportunity for members to meet and share ideas.

The AGM has to be held, so that will be held by Zoom on 29 May. You will receive an
invitation to attend soon, with the papers you need. Please sign up via Eventbrite as this will
allow us to know how many people plan to attend and to send you the zoom link you will
need. We need to be quorate so it would be good to see as many members as possible.
JME 33, from the Horniman conference, is in process, but posting will be difficult without
access to the envelope stock, locked in Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. The plan is to send a
pdf to all members, so you can read the papers in lockdown, and the physical journal will be
posted as soon as possible once life opens up again.

Emma Martin has been working on collating all repatriation information into a Padlet,
something similar to Trello and other planning tools. This will be accessible via the MEG
website soon, as a resource for all to use in planning for repatriations, or starting discussions
about repatriations, or just wanting to know what has happened around the world and where
sources of information and contacts are. It is an important piece of work, thank you Emma
and all the people who sent in material to go on it. If you have papers from requests or
returns that are not yet on there, we would like to add them to the Padlet. We are looking at
managing access to sensitive papers. We hope that this will become the place for advice
and information, and MEG can offer advice on individual cases.

We had planned to run a skills sharing event on writing ‘Reparation and Restitutions
statements for your museum’ at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich in the Autumn,
we would now like to offer this as a virtual event instead, more details on this event will be
announced soon,

The ability to pull this material together and offer support to museums relies on specialist
staff in post. The loss of World Cultures curators over the last few years is concerning, and
once museums reopen and stabilise we hope to carry out a survey of specialist posts, to
map where the specialist knowledge is, where collections have no specialist care, and the
posts lost. This baseline data may help to argue for the retention of posts at risk and the
reinstatement of deleted posts, although in a post–lockdown economy all bets are off.
Planned events have been postponed – repatriation workshop with Manchester Museum
and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and the
Barkcloth Basics workshops - but we hope that these will be rescheduled as soon as it is
possible to do so, and hope that people will want to attend. The Events officer is planning

events for later in the year, and if this goes on for a year we will be looking at different ways
of keeping members networked and involved.
Take care
MEG Committee

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