Kwame Opoku


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?


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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Prof. Bodomo has produced an excellent book that will for years to come be the standard work for scholars. “Two points I will always retain are: the African who was surprised that the Chinese do not speak English and the complaint by some Chinese that the Africans are intensely dating Chinese women. What did they expect?”

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Unique historical evidence of the ancient cultures of a continent is being put up for sale on the open market in Europe. Yet in the countries of Africa where these priceless treasures belong, there is little public interest in the matter.

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The key lesson of Walker’s rare gesture is that every people creates its artefacts for its use and that people should not, through violence and other oppressive means, be deprived of the basic human right to cultural development and self-determination of the location of their own artefacts.

The influential American scholar falsely attributes to the UN cultural agency UNESCO a mandate it clearly does not have. What is more, he supports an outdate and unfair system that allowed rich countries which financed many explorations and excavations of archaeological sites to loot artefacts.

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Churches supported the establishment of colonial regimes, especially through the destruction of societal, cultural and religious systems in Africa. Until today racist and ignorant assumptions about African cultures inform the justification of keeping artefacts that missionaries looted from Africa to create collections and museums in Europe.


As China gathers its state and non-state resources to buy back its looted historical treasures, questions arise about the legitimacy of this method for reclaiming stolen cultural history.