Conservation

Are African Artifacts Safer in Europe? Museum Conditions Revive Debate

Title: Are African Artifacts Safer in Europe? Museum Conditions Revive Debate
Author: Liam Stack
Media Outlet: The New York Times
Publish Date: Sept. 4, 2019

“Is Africa’s cultural heritage better off in Europe or in Africa?

That is the question at the heart of a yearslong debate that has gripped museums in Europe, where many officials say they support the idea of repatriating artifacts, but worry that African museums cannot compare to state-of-the-art facilities in Britain, France or Germany.

That debate has been given new life in recent months after an investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper found that many of the artifacts that will be on display in the Humboldt Forum, a huge new museum under construction in a rebuilt Berlin palace, had for years been stored in less-than-ideal conditions. The report featured searing depictions of flooded storage rooms and depots choked with toxic dust.”