Benin exhibits looted treasures returned by France

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Benin President Patrice Talon on Saturday will inaugurate an exhibition of historic artworks returned by France last year, nearly 130 years after they were stolen by colonial forces. The pieces are to be displayed next to works of 34 contemporary artists, as part of a 1-billion-euro initiative to ramp up the country’s cultural infrastructure.

The 26 pieces, some considered sacred in Benin, will be displayed from Sunday in a 2,000-square-metre (21,500-square-foot) space in the presidential palace in Cotonou in a show entitled “Benin art yesterday and today”.

The return of artefacts by France comes as calls grow in Africa for Western countries to hand back colonial spoils from their museums and private collections.

SourceFrance 24
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