Emmanuel Kasarhérou, director of the Quai Branly Museum, returned in an interview with Le Monde and talked about working with this African nation to analysis, exhibit and restore 26 works of colonial conquest.
The Quai Branly Museum is organizing the return of 26 works from the Royal Treasures of Abomey stolen through the French colonial conquest within the nineteenth century to Benin.digital Century, and was exhibited from October twenty sixth to thirty first earlier than the switch. Emmanuel Kasarhérou, director of the Quai Branly Museum, defined his group’s work on violently obtained objects.
Within the case of being comforted on a regular basis. Because the vote on Benin’s cultural property restitution legislation in December 2020, we’ve got multiplied contacts to construct one thing collectively. The query of timeliness and agenda isn’t all the time straightforward, however museums should know the right way to adapt, take note of, and join with the cultural necessities of various locations that may have completely different concepts. Two curators, one from the Abomey Museum and the opposite from the Ouidah Museum, grew to become aware of these objects. We’re establishing the exhibition collectively, and they’re going to dismantle it and ship the work to Benin.
We have now determined to carry an exhibition with Benin as a substitute of constructing these returns secretly, solely the containers are in transit. We wish to present these traditionally vital works: they’ve been collected in France for almost 130 years. Simply as we can’t erase their historical historical past, we can’t erase their French historical past both. We have now to inform the complexity of this story. A brand new period of those works is starting. They not return to Benin as objects of worship and energy, however return to Benin as new heritage objects. Each tradition should set up its personal heritage, defining its boundaries, grammar and expressions.
In early November, the official invoice can be signed underneath the authorization of the 2 presidents of France and Benin. The 26 objects will then be taken care of by Benin. They’ll reintegrate into an area that has advanced with out them. Will write a brand new story.
We have now to barter with the nation, as a result of we’re speaking about nationwide collections. However sure, sooner or later, the article group could turn out to be the topic of the legislation. For 3 years, we’ve got been dedicated to violently figuring out objects obtained with out consent. Our position is to higher inform the supply of the elements. The requests obtained by the state both contain particular circumstances or all collections. They had been developed by international locations corresponding to Mali, Chad, and Côte d’Ivoire, and we’ve got frequent analysis plans with these international locations.