African Artefacts to Return Home

26 Oct 2020

A series of brass plaques are the most famous of the items known as the Benin Bronzes, but the looted hoard also includes items made from wood and ivory.Credit…Lauren Fleishman for The New York Times

African Artefacts to Return Home.

French authorities have said it will return 26 artworks looted from Benin during the colonial era.

The pieces are at the Quai Branly museum in Paris.

Senegal will also see the return of a sabre and its sheath, attributed to El Hadj Omar Tall, a key religious and military figure in West Africa in the 19th century.

A pendant mask at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Items from the Benin Bronzes are in major museums and private collections.Credit…Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

The sabre is part of the collection at the Museum of the Army in Paris but it is currently on long-term loan in Dakar.

More than 1,000 bronze art pieces are held at museums across Europe, with some of the most valuable collection at the British Museum in London.

There are no fewer than 3,000 items scattered worldwide, maybe thousands more. No one’s entirely sure.