Macron Leads Renewed Calls for Return of Looted African Artifacts

A report commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron recommends that France should return to Africa art and artifacts held in French cultural institutions. It characterizes the collections as part of “a system of appropriation and alienation” that takes away from Africans their “spiritual nourishment that is the foundation of their humanity.” The authors of the report are Felwine Sarr, a Senegalese economist, and Benedicte Savoy, a French historian. As part of his “reset” of France’s relations with Africa, President Macron in 2017 said he wanted to start returning African cultural artifacts within the next five years, and has since called for an international conference on the return of African artifacts. However, under French law, the French government is prohibited from…

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