Past Event

Liberating the Sacred: Afro-Brazilian Religions, Cultural Heritage, and the Law

November 5, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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Online Event

A conversation with Nilce Naira Nascimento (Mãe Nilce de Iansã, Project Coordinator at Ilê Omolú e Oxum in Rio de Janeiro) and Sergio Suiama (Public Law and Cultural Heritage Legal Advocate), moderated by Ana Paulina Lee, LAIC, Columbia University. 

Between 1889-1945, over 500 sacred objects were confiscated from Candomblé and Umbanda temples in Rio de Janeiro. For more than a century, the sacred objects were held at the building that once served as headquarters to the Department of Political and Social Order (DOPS), once the center for police administration, a prison, and a torture site, and now the headquarters for the Civil Police. In September 2020, after decades of struggle, the objects were transferred to the Museum of the Republic. This conversation revisits the history to liberate the sacred objects. Participants will discuss plans for the future of these sacred objects and address issues related to cultural belonging, law, appropriation, and heritage.