Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum

How a Cologne museum is dealing with its colonial heritage

Title: How a Cologne museum is dealing with its colonial heritage
Author: Sabine Oelze
Media Outlet: DW.com
Publish Date: Oct. 1st, 2019

“A major problem is transparency: "Many countries in Africa do not know what's in European museums," Snoep points out.

(…) The IIP is an attempt to take concrete action. It's not just about restitution, but also about cooperation and gaining knowledge on the objects. The available data is "not always enough," says Snoep. In some cases, she adds, "cooperation partners do not even understand how we handle the objects." Some of the exhibits in glass showcases in Cologne can be bought at a market in Nairobi. This is why knowledge and relations of trust need to be established; mistrust towards former colonial rulers was caused by centuries of unequal power relations.”