Will France's Museums Return African Art Treasures?
Benin may have the best chance to date of getting them back, as French President Emmanuel Macron vows to make the return of treasures from former African colonies a top priority. That vow will be tested next week, when Benin President Patrice Talon visits France. Restitution of Dahomey artifacts is expected to rank high in discussions between the two leaders, writes Lisa Bryant for the Voice of America.
VOA, 2 March 2018
In the 19th century, the Kingdom of Dahomey was a major West African power, boasting a flourishing slave trade with Europe and a feared corps of Amazon women warriors. Commissioned… Read more »
Photo: Miguel Hermoso Cuesta
France’s stockpiling of treasures from Dahomey happened during colonial fighting between 1892 and 1894, but it was also carried out by missionaries who “robbed communities of what they considered to be charms”, said Irenee Zevounou, Benin’s ambassador to UNESCO, the UN’s cultural body in Paris.
Many treasures taken by France from Benin - when it was still known as Dahomey - are now on display in French museums, including the Quai Branly in Paris Two female steatopyous figures said to represent Dahomey pygmies, West Africa.
Photo: Lisa Bryant/VOA
Beninese art at the gallery of Robert Vallois, who teamed up with other gallery owners to build a museum and donate art to Benin.
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The Black Panther movie has renewed interest in the kingdom of Dahomey, said to be one of the greatest on the African continent for 300 years, before it was annexed by the French colonial powers. ... see more »
Fahamu, 8 February 2018
Nigeria should abandon its ineffective policy of quiet diplomacy while seeking to recover its stolen artefacts, and pursue vigorous and open policies to bring back its artefacts. Read more »
- VOA News
- VOA News
- Publication Date:
- 2 March 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron's groundbreaking vow to return colonial-era artifacts Africa may face its first test next week, when he holds talks ... see more »