Restitution: Africa’s Stolen Art – Return
There is growing pressure for the restitution of cultural items in newly independent African countries.
By the 1930s, European collectors and museums began to gather what they called “samples” from Africa.
These were not solely artwork and artefacts; sometimes, even human bodies were brought from Africa and put on display, their likenesses reproduced and their skeletons exhibited.
After the second world war, the African colonies began to gain independence and gradually started to open their own museums and demand the return of their stolen artworks to be exhibited there.
But despite UNESCO support, increasing pressure and repeated requests, only a few items were returned during the 1970s and 80s.
This is episode 2 of a three-part series. Watch episode 1 here and episode 3 here.