forum. Since the researchers Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr published the “Restoration of African Heritage” report in 2018, France seems to want to put itself at the forefront of the movement , In order to return the looted property to the colonial period.
The report was commissioned by Emmanuel Macron after his speech in Wuagadougou at the end of 2017. At the time he promised to see Africa meet the conditions for restoring at least part of its material heritage within five years. The report proposes to return it Thousands of items shipped to metropolises were often under duress during the colonial era.
Since then progress has been slow, but this is true. The French Parliament voted at the end of 2020 to return 26 items to Benin and Senegal, as well as several royal symbols of Madagascar.Hypothetical general laws on the transfer of collections in the colonies are important due to the public status of the collections in most French museums To this Each of these returns is required, which explains this slowness.
The list presented in the Sarr-Savoy report includes artworks confiscated by other colonial forces, as well as the unpredictable art market and collections that arrived in France after donations. These included at least five objects from Benin City in southwestern Nigeria today. These objects were captured during the British punitive expedition in 1897, which marked the beginning of the formal colonization of the territory that constitutes Nigeria today. The current sudden change in the status of these “Benin bronzes” by European museums seems to indicate that France’s desire for other compensation is slowing down.
In 1897, British colonial soldiers participated in theBoth The king (king) of Benin took away the spoils of dismissal of the city: since at least the 15th century, thousands of pewter plaques and skulls, carved ivory commemorating the ruler of the countryE Century, and many other treasures. By extension, all these objects-without a clear list-are today called “Benin bronzes”.