BENIN/AFRICA – Who owns African cultural artifacts?

On November 23, French imperialism announced it would return 26 works of art back to Benin, works which have been stolen by French colonialism in the 19th century. The decision of the French government followed a decision by the British Museum in October to return temporarily to Nigeria an undisclosed number of artworks stolen from there. The French and British imperialist proclaim a „big step forward“ and „potential milestone“ after centuries of colonial enslavement.

What kind of „milestone“ is it, when the imperialists celebrate to give back 26 stolen artworks, when 70.000 others remain at the Musee du Quai Branly in France, 69.000 at the British Museum, 37.000 at the Weltmuseum in Austria, 75.000 at the Future Humboldt Forum in Germany and 180.000 at the Musee Royal de l‘Afrique Centrale in Belgium – not mentioned an unknown number in the hand of private collectors.

The imperialists justified the ownership of the artifacts with „proper preservation“. The museums in Europe would have climatization and better conditions for the art goods than the ones in Africa – what ridiculing argument about goods stolen from the same feudal imperialists.

The ongoing and deepening oppression and exploitation of the African countries, the political, economical and cultural enslavement by imperialists gets obvious also in this question about the return of cultural artefacts. It shows that „independence“ of african countries is existing only on the paper. Giving back immediately every stolen cultural artefact to Africa is the only democratic point of view in this question!

#culturalheritageofafrica #stolenartifacts #returnculturalgoods #Africa