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Europe’s ‘Discovery’ of African Art: The 125th anniversary of the British Punitive Expedition
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Arts, Culture and Sport Europe’s ‘Discovery’ of African Art: The 125th anniversary of the British Punitive Expedition

Despite Africans agitating for the return of looted artefacts, 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage is ‘housed’ in the West. This week marks the 125th anniversary of the British punitive expedition that destroyed Benin city and started Europe’s ‘discovery’ of African art.

Royal statues from Benin’s historic Kingdom of Dahomey to be restituted from France
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Arts, Culture and Sport Royal statues from Benin’s historic Kingdom of Dahomey to be restituted from France

A loan of 20 million euros ($22.5 million) from the French Development Agency will fund a new museum in Benin’s city of Abomey. The aim is to make the 47-hectare (116-acre) UNESCO World Heritage Site more attractive for visitors once France restitutes 26 royal statues taken by French troops over a century ago

France to return 26 pieces of art to Benin as report recommends restitution of African artwork
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Politics and Society France to return 26 pieces of art to Benin as report recommends restitution of African artwork

French President Emmanuel Macron says France will return 26 pieces of art to Benin, after receiving a report calling for African artefacts housed in French museums to be returned. The report recommends restitution of objects taken from Africa during “scientific expeditions” and “objects seized within the military contexts”. There are at least 90,000 objects originating from sub-Saharan Africa currently in French Public Collections.