Move to return colonial-era art slammed
Publish date: 03 December 2018
Issue Number: 802
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The head of France's largest collection of African art has slammed a report urging the return of thousands of artworks to the countries from which they were taken. News24 notes that Stephane Martin, of the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris, which holds more than two-thirds of the 90 000 African treasures in French public collections, said the report tainted ‘everything that was collected and bought during the colonial period with the impurity of the colonial crime’. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, the report by French and African specialists commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron urged the return of thousands of artworks in a radical shift of policy. However, Martin said changing the law to enable treasures to be returned ‘opened the door to complete maximalist restitution’.