Experts Urge France to Permanently Restitute Looted African Art


A new 108-page report commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron recommends the permanent restitution of African art and artifacts acquired by the state through “theft, looting, despoilment, trickery, and forced consent.” During a three-day trip to Africa last year Macron declared the return of colonial-era art a “top priority” for the government. He then appointed Senegalese economist Felwine Sarr and French art historian Bénédicte Savoy to advise on the process.

According to a preview obtained by Le Point, the report, which will be released in full on Friday, calls for France to create an inventory of all works originating from colonialism in Africa, bringing about two thirds of the ninety thousand pieces of African art acquired before 1960 currently in French museums under…

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