France to return art looted from Benin after colonisation

:

Fast News

The French government will return some 26 artworks from thousands taken in the 19th century from Benin, including from its Palaces of Abomey – today a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The process of handing back artworks France had taken from the Palaces of Abomey was first promised by President Emmanuel Macron in 2017.
The process of handing back artworks France had taken from the Palaces of Abomey was first promised by President Emmanuel Macron in 2017.
(Reuters)

Benin has signed an agreement to take back from France 26 artworks seized from the former French colony in the 19th century.

“You’ll agree with me that the restitution of 26 artworks we are celebrating today is only a step in the ambitious process of equity and of restitution of … heritage extorted from the territory of the Benin kingdom by France,” Benin President Patrice Talon said on Tuesday. 

Talon was addressing French President Emmanuel Macron after a signing ceremony at the Elysee Palace.

He said he hoped the development would pave the way for more cultural treasures to be handed back.

READ MORE: Should France return ‘stolen’ African art? One activist thinks so

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Drop in a vast ocean of stolen art

France took the 26 artworks in 1892 from Benin’s Palaces of Abomey – today a UNESCO World Heritage site – and put them on display in a museum in Paris, alongside thousands of other artefacts taken from Africa during colonial rule.

They will now be handed back but constitute only a fraction of the 5,000 works whose return Benin is seeking.

The handover marks a milestone in the years-long fight by African countries to recover works taken by Western explorers and colonisers.

It comes at a time when numerous European institutions are grappling with the cultural legacies of colonialism.

The Quai Branly Museum in Paris alone holds some 70,000 African objects.

The process of handing back the artworks that France had taken from the Palaces of Abomey was first promised by Macron in 2017.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

https://www.trtworld.com/art-culture/france-to-return-art-looted-from-benin-after-colonisation-51507?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss