11:00 am - Tuesday December 18, 2018

LONG OVERDUE: ‘FRANCE Ready to Return 26 Stolen Thrones and Statues taken from Benin Kingdom during Colonial Era’-EMMANUEL MACRON, French President …Says: ‘This happened in 1892 when we had the war against the then Kingdom of Dahomey’ *Artifact currently on display in the Quai Branly museum in Paris * “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” -Elysee palace * Ousmane Aledji, director of the Benin cultural centre Artisttik Africa: ‘We Are pleased to see a new form of cultural exchange with France’ BY ANIETE PAMELA/CULTURAL STAFF WRITER, BENIN CITY, EDO STATE & KLEM IMONITIE/SENIOR CULTURAL CORRESPONDENCE, PARIS

LONG OVERDUE:

‘FRANCE Ready to Return 26 Stolen Thrones and Statues taken from Benin Kingdom during Colonial Era’-EMMANUEL MACRON, French President

…Says: ‘This happened in 1892 when we had the war against the then Kingdom of Dahomey’

*Artifact currently on display in the Quai Branly museum in Paris

* “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” -Elysee palace

* Ousmane Aledji, director of the Benin cultural centre Artisttik Africa: ‘We Are pleased to see a new form of cultural exchange with France’

BY ANIETE PAMELA/CULTURAL STAFF WRITER, BENIN CITY, EDO STATE & KLEM IMONITIE/SENIOR CULTURAL CORRESPONDENCE, PARIS

AT LAST, SEVERAL ARTIFACT STOLEN FROM THE BENIN KINGDOM DURING THE COLONIAL ERA ARE ABOUT TO BE RETURNED. French President, EMMANUEL MACRON made this revelation recently in Paris when he explained assured that France was about to return the thrones and statues taken from Nigeria in 1892.

Macron explained that France will return 26 artworks taken from the west African state of Benin in the colonial era. The announcement follows an experts’ report recommending that African treasures in French museums be returned to their countries of origin.

The 26 thrones and statues were taken in 1892 during a colonial war against the then Kingdom of Dahomey. They are currently on display in the Quai Branly museum in Paris.

Long before now, Benin officially asked for their return some years ago. President Macron said the statues would be returned “without delay”, as his office assured that 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.

A panel of experts, commissioned by the president to study the issue of African artworks in French museums, presented their findings to him on Friday. Ousmane Aledji, director of the Benin cultural centre Artisttik Africa, reportedly said we are pleased to see “a new form of cultural exchange with France.”

During colonial rule in Africa, thousands of cultural artifacts were seized 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 artifacts back to Nigeria.

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