France To Return 26 Artworks Stolen From Benin.


About 26 thrones and statues plundered from Dahomey in 1892 during a colonial war is set to be returned according to a report credited to the French president Mr. Emmanuel Macron.
The then Kingdom of Dahomey engaged in a colonial war that saw the artifacts and treasures of the kingdom pillaged by the colonial masters.

The west African state of Benin currently has Three Great Royal Statues of ancient Dahomey displayed at the Quai Branly Museum-Jacques Chirac in Paris.
A report commissioned by the French president has recommended that disputed artworks should be returned to their countries of origin.
Mr. Macron has announced that France will return 26 artworks stolen from the west African state of Dahomey (now Republic of Benin) in the colonial era.
His proclamation comes after a report recommending that African treasures in French museums be returned to their countries of origin.

They are currently on display in the Quai Branly museum in Paris.

The government of Benin officially requested for the return of their treasures a few years ago.

Mr. Macron has assurde that the statues would be returned "without delay".

His office said the return of art to Benin should not be an isolated case.

The president "hopes that all possible circulation of these works is considered: returns but also exhibitions, loans, further cooperation", the Elysee palace said.
The panel of experts, commissioned by the president to study the matter concerning African artworks in French museums, presented their findings to on Friday.

Ousmane Aledji, director of the Benin cultural centre Artisttik Africa, told the AFP news agency he was pleased to see "a new form of cultural exchange" with France.

During colonial rule in Africa, thousands of cultural artefacts were carted away from the continent by Western countries.

The official report states that most of the Africa collection in the Quai Branly museum - approximately 46,000 pieces - was acquired with some degree of duress.

France's announcement comes as major museums across Europe have agreed to lend key artefacts back to Nigeria.
With artworks of African origin dominating many museums across Europe, the big question on the lips of most Africans is, will the British government have the integrity to return the artworks stolen from Nigeria?

By Onwordi Ngozi Fortune.

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