Mail & Guardian: Western Museums and African Artifacts

Economists and art historians are taking inventory of artwork and cultural artifacts removed from their lands decades or even centuries ago. The British Museum is returning an unknown number of artifacts, and France is returning 25 pieces to Benin. “The decision was made after French President Emmanuel Macron reviewed a report by Senegalese economist Felwine Sarr and French art historian Benedicte Savoy recommending the permanent return of cultural artefacts removed from Africa during its colonization,” writes Christine Mungai for the Mail & Guardian. “The report has been lauded as a ‘potential milestone’ in the struggle by African countries to recover works of art pillaged by Western colonisers. Others say it might set a tricky precedent that would accelerate the demand from other African countries to have their artefacts returned.” Mungai points out that hundreds of thousands of artifacts are far from home in foreign museums. She criticizes colonialist attitudes that suggest developing nations are incapable of protecting the artifacts or recognizing their value. Cultures should not try to control the narratives of other cultures, and Mungai calls for immediate restitution with no conditions. – YaleGlobal

Mail & Guardian: Western Museums and African Artifacts

Art historians research the provenance of priceless artifacts stored in museums around the world as Africans increasingly expect immediate restitution
Christine Mungai
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Read the article from the Mail & Guardian about efforts to return African artwork and artifacts held by museums to Africa.  

All material © Mail & Guardian Online.

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