Sindika Dokolo

‘The Colonial Effect on Us Is Huge’: Why Congolese Collector Sindika Dokolo Sees Restitution as a Way to Remake African Identity

Title: ‘The Colonial Effect on Us Is Huge’: Why Congolese Collector Sindika Dokolo Sees Restitution as a Way to Remake African Identity
Author: Kate Brown
Media Outlet: Artnet.news
Publish Date: Oct. 8, 2019

“What does the African public make of the repatriation debate? Are we using this debate to better understand how crucial it is for us to re-learn our own history and re-discover ourselves, our values, and our artistic creation? It is important that we, within Africa, look at this art in a dignified way so that we understand how important our contribution is. Some young people still think this art is a sign of witchcraft or savagery." (…) And so while I thought the report was interesting, I am more interested at this stage in the African agenda by itself than in the evolution of the European perspective. I try to develop as much as possible an Afrocentric approach to what I am doing, especially in culture.

Return of African Artifacts Sets a Tricky Precedent for Europe’s Museums

Title: Return of African Artifacts Sets a Tricky Precedent for Europe’s Museums
Author: Farah Nayeri
Media Outlet: The New York Times
Publish Date: November 27, 2018

'“(…) In Europe, the restitution announcement drew tepid reactions from museum directors, as it sets a tricky precedent. Leaders of cultural institutions were quick to emphasize that Mr. Macron was speaking for France and France alone, but acknowledged that his actions and pronouncements on African heritage had energized and accelerated discussions on the subject elsewhere.

In Africa, the announcement was met with a mix of enthusiasm and caution.

(…) The ball is now in the court of France’s culture minister and foreign minister, who have been asked to bring together African and European museum managers and cultural professionals to ensure that works of art circulate not only among the major museums of the world (…)

Sindika Dokolo, a businessman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who runs an art foundation in Angola and who has bought back looted African art, said the French president’s restitution offer had “no precedent.” (…) At the same time, Mr. Dokolo urged African leaders to respond quickly, before a change of government or mood in France — to “put their foot in the door before it closes.”