Pre-Columbian auction in Paris goes ahead in face of protest from Guatemala and Mexico

Title: Pre-Columbian auction in Paris goes ahead in face of protest from Guatemala and Mexico
Author: Vincent Noce
Media Outlet: The Art Newspaper
Publish Date: Sept. 19, 2019

“Central American countries are up in arms once more over the sale of pre-hispanic objects in Paris, which they say is “encouraging looting and trafficking of their cultural heritage". Their anger was triggered by an auction of pre-Columbian artefacts owned by the French collectors Manichak and Jean Aurance held at Alexandre Millon at Drouot yesterday, 18 September.”

How long will Europeans and other Westerners keep insulting Africans in Restitution Matters?

Title: How long will Europeans and other Westerners keep insulting Africans in Restitution Matters?
Author: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Media Outlet: Modern Ghana
Publish Date: Sept. 16, 2019

“We reproduce below a press release from a Berlin based NGO alliance on the proposals of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation to loan to Namibia artefacts looted by German colonialists.

(…) We call on African peoples and States to whom such demeaning proposals of loans of their own looted artefacts have been made, to reject them as a matter of dignity and principle. Other offers accompanying such proposals cannot make up for the loss of self-respect and dignity resulting from such shameful projects.

In this post-Ouagadougou period, after the Sarr-Savoy report, such proposals are anachronistic.

End of Golden Age: Dutch museum bans term from exhibits

Title: End of Golden Age: Dutch museum bans term from exhibits
Author: Daniel Boffey
Media Outlet: The Guardian
Publish Date: Sept. 13, 2019

“One of the Netherlands’ most prestigious museums has fuelled fresh debate over the the country’s colonial past by deciding it will no longer use the term Golden Age to describe the 17th century when it was at its pinnacle as a military and trading power.

(…) Tom van der Molen, the curator of the 17th century at the museum, said: “The Golden Age occupies an important place in Western historiography that is strongly linked to national pride. But positive associations with the term such as prosperity, peace, opulence and innocence do not cover the charge of historical reality in this period. The term ignores the many negative sides of the 17th century such as poverty, war, forced labour and human trafficking.”

Marché des arts primitifs : un creux qui pourrait profiter aux objets océaniens

Title: Marché des arts primitifs : un creux qui pourrait profiter aux objets océaniens
Author: Roxana Azimi
Media Outlet: Le Monde
Publish Date: Sept. 9, 2019

“Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie : les transactions restent dynamiques aux deux extrémités du marché, pour les objets en dessous de 15 000 euros et pour les rares chefs-d’œuvre inestimables.”

Icom Kyoto 2019 conference: key takeaways from the decolonisation and restitution panel

Title: Icom Kyoto 2019 conference: key takeaways from the decolonisation and restitution panel
Author: Tonya Nelson
Media Outlet: The Art Newspaper
Publish Date: Sept. 9, 2019

“The session was both thought-provoking and challenging. It raised a number of questions that speak to the fundamental purpose of museums in the 21st century: are museums shop windows that present highly polished, one-dimensional histories or platforms where the messy work of continually reshaping stories to reflect new knowledge and histories can be used to empower people and create new futures?”

Scham und Stolz

Title: Scham und Stolz
Author: Andreas Rossmann
Media Outlet: Frankfurter Allgemeine
Publish Date: September 6, 2019

“(…) Die Bedeutung der Rückgabe für die Afrikaner stellte die Künstlerin und „feministische Denkerin“ Njoki Ngumi heraus: Welche Lücken die Objekte in der Geschichte des Kontinents hinterlassen und wie sich diese durch die Abwesenheit verändert haben – das seien Themen, auf die das Publikum in Kenia neugierig sei.”

A qui appartient l’art africain ?

Title: A qui appartient l’art africain ?
Media Outlet: Arte
Publish Date: September 8, 2019

“En 2017, Emmanuel Macron s’est engagé à restituer à leurs pays d’origine les œuvres d’art africaines détenues par la France. Si les restitutions visent à réparer le préjudice, un problème juridique subsiste : depuis 1566, les biens entrant dans le domaine public sont inaliénables, imprescriptibles et insaisissables, selon la loi française. Dès lors, à qui appartiennent ces œuvres d’art ?”

Kenya’s Pokomo people ask the British to return what was stolen: Their source of power

Title: Kenya’s Pokomo people ask the British to return what was stolen: Their source of power
Author: Max Bearak
Media Outlet: The Washington Post
Publish Date: August 9, 2019

“That drum, the ngadji, the source of power and pride for the Pokomo, has been relegated to a storage room in the British Museum in London for 111 years.

The theft of the ngadji by British colonial officers is a story well-known among the eldest Pokomo. The British Museum, too, acknowledges the ngadji was “confiscated” before being donated to its collections in 1908. The museum also acknowledges a request by the Pokomo community for its return.

(…) “We cannot return to the old days. The world has changed, not just the Pokomo,” Mjidho said. “Yes, the ngadji’s return would restore our pride. It might inspire our youth to look beyond the hopeless world that has been created around them.”

Greece in talks with Louvre to borrow Parthenon frieze as part of 'temporary exchange'

Title: Greece in talks with Louvre to borrow Parthenon frieze as part of 'temporary exchange'
Author: Gareth Harris
Media Outlet: The Art Newspaper
Publish Date: August 27, 2019

“President Emmanuel Macron of France is considering lending to Greece a marble frieze removed from the temple of Parthenon, which is currently housed at the Louvre in Paris. According to the Greek news agency ANA, the plan was discussed during recent talks between Macron and the Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who hopes to secure the loan for the country’s bicentennial independence celebrations in 2021.”

Stolen Mijikenda ‘spirits’ return home from the US

Title: Stolen Mijikenda ‘spirits’ return home from the US
Author: Patrick Beja
Media Outlet: The Standard
Publish Date: July 31, 2019

“Mijikenda elders on Monday celebrated the return of 30 cultural artefacts stolen from the community more than 30 years ago.

(…) They were returned by Denver Museum of Natural History in Colorado following a campaign by researchers to have them brought home because of their value to the Mijikenda community.

(…) The families that owned the vigango are yet to be identified.

Dr Mohamed said 29 more cultural artefacts from the US had been lying at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport since 2014 and promised to have them released to the elders.

She called on other institutions still keeping Kenya’s cultural artefacts to hand them back.”