Tag Archives: repatriation

Talking African art repatriation with curator and anthropologist Meskerem Assegued

An early scene in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther sees Michael B. Jordan’s antagonist Erik Killmonger standing before a selection of encased African artifacts housed inside a fictional Museum in Britain. After a few moments, the museum director approaches, offering to tell him about the works. He contradicts her tales, informing her that what she thinks was made by the Fula tribe in Benin is actually from Wakanda, his homeland. Just before poisoning the director and making off with the stolen valuables, he tells her, “Don’t trip—I’m gonna take it off your hands for you.”

Though Killmonger may only exist in the movies and on the pages of graphic novels, his position on the repatriation of stolen African art is not an uncommon one. Writing for the Hopkins Exhibitionist, Johns…

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Proponents of Repatriation of African Artworks Take Issue with the Past—and Present and Future -ARTnews

A Chokwe Mwana Pwo mask that was returned to Angola from a private collection in France in April 2016.


Early in the blockbuster movie Black Panther, in a scene that has been much discussed for what it brings to bear on issues of race and institutionality, a young black man stands beside a white curator in the fictional Museum of Great Britain. As the curator talks about the history of a centuries-old axe she says was made in the West African nation of Benin, the man protests its provenance before changing tacks: “Don’t trip—I’m going to take it off your hands for you.” When told the artifact is not for sale, he replies: “How do you think your ancestors got these? Do you think they paid a fair price? Or did they take it, like they took…

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Taking Back Our History: Understanding African Art Repatriation

Earlier this month, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London responded to a claim by the Ethiopian government to retrieve items taken from the 1868 battle of Maqdala by suggesting that Ethiopia take them out on a long-term loan. The items, which were taken from the mountain capital of Emperor Tewodros II in the area formerly known as Abyssinia, include a gold crown, a royal wedding dress, the bones of Prince Alemayehu, Emperor Tewodros II son who was captured and taken to Britain where he died at just 18, and more.

The audacious suggestion that the items be “loaned” back was a clear disregard for cultural ownership, a reinforcement of colonial attitudes that once again stripped African countries of their culture and agency.

The outrage that ensued was no surprise, but as we know, outrage…

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UNHCR begins repatriation of Central African Republic refugees from Congo (Brazzaville)

Refugees from the Central African Republic living in Betou in the northern part of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) have started returning home.

They are taking advantage of a voluntary repatriation program by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR announced in March.

Some 6,000 refugees have lived in the camp which is some 50km from the border of their home country.

Sebastian Sangba, one of the refugees was among the first batch of 100 refugees returning home.

“Whatever your fate, a man feels better at home, so I prefer to go back to my country and get back into business,” Sebastian said adding that…

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*** This news item is 3rd party content and is included strictly for non-commercial informational purposes.