DR Congo

 THE DRC ALSO CLAIMS ITS LOOTED COLONIAL TREASURES

The Democratic Republic of the Congo calls on Belgium, the former settler for the return of art looted during the period of slavery and colonization.

In a petition backed by the Belgian press, several associations, university and members of Congolese civil society demanding the return of Congolese treasures stored in Belgian museums, including the Tervuren.

The latter, considered the last great colonial museum in Europe, contains no less than 120,000 Congolese objects whose Baton Ishango, mathematical memory of Congo there are about 9000 years. There is also the Free University of Brussels, where are kept the skulls of Congolese killed by beheading or torture for refusing colonization.

So many goods that would recover the signatories of the petition. Although, at present, they do not support the Congolese authorities who have sent no formal request to their Belgian counterparts.

"The continental Africans who want to show their wealth to their children do not. Almost everything was stolen. We can not rely on intercultural dialogue looting preceded by colonial murders stolen property should be returned, "they write.

"Paternalism colonial overtones"
By inviting the debate on the restitution of works, the petitioners hope to take advantage of favorable wind related to emulation around the subject. Benin, Ethiopia or Nigeria have already committed to take possession of their cultural treasures, sparking promises of France, Germany and Britain have begun thinking about the conditions for return these works.

A problem, however, stands in reverse shot: Western powers are planning more long-term loans to African museums or collections of co-management, rather than definitive refunds. They oppose an argument difficulties for Africans to keep in appropriate conditions, these objects. A thesis that evokes among petitioners a "paternalistic colonial overtones", they denounced.

The working committee initiated by Paris that involves several African personalities, museum directors and Unesco should help to better define the terms satisfactory to all.

Source :  afriquemedia

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