Kwame Opoku

K. Opoku

The idea of Europeans establishing in Benin City a permanent display of looted Benin artefacts that continue to be in European ownership should be considered by every African as an insult to Nigerians and African peoples. Successors to looters become arbiters of the location and display of Benin artefacts. The wishes of the Oba of Benin are simply ignored. The Benin artefacts should be returned to the Oba of Benin and his people who may decide to organize a display showing artefacts that were...read more

Kwame Opoku

An exhibition will be held at the Musée du quai Branly in honour of former French President Jacques Chirac from 21 June to 9 October 2016. This exhibition and renaming of the museum after Chirac do not change the status of the artefacts: They were looted from Africa and other places and the rightful owners want them back.

R.G. \Collage

Could a museum with all the precious stolen artefacts of others and the support of the French government fail? Such celebrations are the self-congratulatory affirmations of the seemingly impregnable position certain Western cultural institutions have assumed as a result of relentless colonial exploitation and oppression of African and Asian peoples. Or how could one explain that institutions holding admittedly looted artefacts are not bothered about the illegality of their acquisitions?

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Pz

In a ‘Requiem for Amílcar Cabral’, which is full of praises and admiration for Cabral, the Sao Tomean poet Espirito Santo underlines the important position of the Guinean leader in Africa before the barbarous act of his ambush and assassination and calls him the ‘Guevara of Africa’, an allusion to the great historic leader of the Cuban guerrilla warfare that overthrew the US- supported corrupt regime of Batista in 1959.

Pz

One cannot purport to condemn colonialism while enjoying the benefits of colonialism. Germany’s keeping of the looted Benin artefacts despite demands for return is the surest sign of lack of respect and an obvious demonstration of continuing centuries-old contempt of westerners for Africa and its peoples.

PZ

More than half a million objects are to be moved to a massive German museum now under construction. Many of these items were looted from Africa and now the argument justifying their continued holding in Germany is that they are shared global heritage. It is unacceptable.

Pz

Recent statements from politicians and government officials give the impression that Germany is preparing to abandon the long-standing practice of denying responsibility for the genocide of 1904-1908 and is now prepared to characterize those wars of extermination as genocide. But has the German government adopted fully a new position?

PZ

The original owners in Africa that were supposed to keep the skulls and bones of their Ancestors may not even be aware of the whereabouts of the kota. Does it not matter that what is part of a people’s belief may be decorating the rooms of non-believers elsewhere in the world for aesthetic pleasure?

It is strange that a museum that is under permanent criticism for holding looted objects of others or objects acquired under dubious circumstances now presents itself as “guardian” of looted artefacts.

Bodomo argued for the study of African languages not only for the languages themselves, as important as they are and for the cultures associated with them, but also from linguistic and literary perspectives.

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