Who are Western museums guarding African artefacts from? | Arts & Culture


On November 23, France announced it was going to return 26 works of art to Benin illegally obtained after the French conquest of the Kingdom of Dahomey (modern-day Benin) in the 19t century. 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 colonisation.

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.

The move by the French government followed a decision by the British…

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