Issues of Restitution and Repatriation of Looted and Illegally Acquired African Objects in European Museums

Issues bordering on the demands for repatriation and restitution of looted and illegally acquired African cultural objects in European museums back to their Africa source communities are gaining currency. Though scholars have shied away from intellectually debating these issues on the African continent, French President Macron’s speech on his promise to return such objects in French museums to their respective countries in Africa has provided an impetus. Thus, the need for such intellectual debates on this discourse in order to find common grounds for fairness and as a way of informing policy decisions among African governments for historical justice, has become pertinent. Engaging in constructive talks about returning objects is an arduous task with varied hydra-headed political, legal, ethical, economic, socio-cultural and human rights ramifications. Cultural objects that are under such restitution demands are not limited to only African objects or by Africans or African countries. There are inter and intra-European as well as Euro-Asian and Euro-American demands.

A Livestream of the keynote speech of Prof. Andreas Eckert which will be held in the context of the workshop will be shown at FRIAS (Albertstraße 19, 79104 Freiburg) in the Lecture Hall (‘Pathologie’) on 13 December 2018 at 4:45 p.m. and will be followed by a short reception. more

Workshop program (download PDF)