WATCH: Benin receives royal artefacts ‘stolen’ by the French 130 years ago
Share this article:
CAPE TOWN - Benin has received back over 26 royal artefacts looted by the French more than 130 years ago during the colonial occupation of the small West African country, according to various reports on Wednesday.
Benin President Patrice Talon and the cultural minister travelled to Paris on Tuesday, to bring the artefacts back, as part of French leader Emmanuel Macron’s effort to restore African heritage, online news publication Politics Nigeria reported.
To mark the return of the artefacts, a ceremony took place in the country's capital Cotonou, which saw hundreds of people line the streets, according to the BBC.
One woman said she’d travelled 500 kilometres with her young children to witness the return of the loot stolen by colonial troops in the 19th century.
The artworks which had been on display in a Parisian museum include statues from the ancient kingdom of Abomey as well as the throne of King Behanzin.
Pressure has been mounting in recent years for European museums and national facilities in the Western world to honour their agreement to repatriate looted African artefacts that were stolen during colonial times by soldiers and military forces who ransacked the continent of its precious reserves.
These artefacts are now displayed across museums in Europe to the delight of the elite. At present, about 90% of sub-Saharan Africa’s artefacts remain outside the continent.
African News Agency (ANA)