Ivory Coast demands return of over hundred stolen artefacts from France
Abidjan, November 29, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Ivory Coast became the latest country to ask France to return over one hundred artefacts looted from the country days after Paris said it was willing to hand back artefacts looted from Africa.
The authorities will ask France to return around a hundred works of art, government spokesman and Communications Minister Sidi Toure announced following a cabinet meeting.
“Ivory Coast has drawn up a list of a hundred masterpieces,” said Toure. That list will be passed on to the panel of experts appointed by the French government to consider such requests, he added.
The move by the authorities in Abidjan came after the French presidency announced last Friday that it would restore to Benin 26 works of art plundered by troops in 1892.
That decision was in line with the recommendations of a report last week by French experts that recommended a change in the law and the return of museum artefacts to Africa.
Calls have been growing in Africa for the restitution of artworks, but current French law strictly forbids the government from ceding state property, even in well-documented cases of pillaging.
The French experts’ report, a copy of which has been seen by AFP, calls for new laws that would allow the return of thousands of African artefacts taken during the colonial period to nations that request them.
Some of the Ivorian works art, like those to be returned to Benin, are currently kept in the Quai Branly museum in Paris.
French President Emmanuel Macron called on other European countries to consider their position on the issue, including Belgium, Britain and Germany.