Te Motuni Epa
‘This is a story about the power of art to help us find a way through the darkness. It is about how art can bring out the best in us, and the worst. The artworks in question are five wooden panels carved in the late 1700s by relatives in Taranaki.’ Commissioned, created, mounted, dismantled, hidden, found, sold, smuggled, on-sold, advertised for auction, withdrawn from auction, touched, judged, debated, locked up, hidden, found, re-sold, returned. This stunning book examines how five interconnected archival records, Te Motunui Epa, have journeyed across the world and changed international law, practices and understanding on the protection and repatriation of stolen cultural treasures. By placing these taonga/tupuna at the centre of the story, Rachel Buchanan (Taranaki, Te Atiawa) present a narrative, richly illustrated, that provides a fascinating and rare account of art, ancestors and power.