Give Africa its cultural heritage back … But keep its digital cultural heritage?

Should France [and any other colonial power] give back to Africa [or any other former colony] its cultural heritage? ‘Yes’ says the experts’ report delivered last week to President Emmanuel Macron, urging France to do so regarding Africa's cultural heritage (here). In 2017, the French President commissioned a report to evaluate the possibility of making restitution regarding the African cultural heritage currently held by the collections and archives of French museums. A year later, heritage specialists Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy delivered a 252-page long report, outlining a five-year plan to return cultural heritage items to their respective places of origin. Their proposed restitution policy is primarily concerned with the policies and conventions of conduct in place to trace the origin and rightful ownership of items, depending on the circumstances of their acquisition (sales, donation, looting and the like). At first…

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