France returns 26 works of art looted in Benin at end of October

The French Parliament voted in December 2020 the return with transfer of ownership of the pieces of the “Treasure of Béhanzin” stolen at the Palace of Abomey in 1892.

Le Monde with AFP

France returns at the end of October to Benin 26 works of art looted at the Palace of Abomey at the end of the XIX e century, as it had engaged in 2018, announced, Friday October 8, French President Emmanuel Macron.

“At the end of October, we will render 26 treasures in Benin” in an organized ceremony in the presence of the Beninese President Patrice Talon, “said Macron at the Africa-France summit, which stands at Montpellier, at a table. round on the refunds of works of art looted in Africa. “We will do it too with Côte d’Ivoire,” he added.

This announcement is part of a commitment made in November 2018 of restitution of 26 artworks claimed by Benin, from the “Treasury de Béhanzin” looted at the Palace of Abomey in 1892 during the wars. colonials.

This decision followed the report of the Bénédicte Savoy University, the College of France, and Felwine Sarr, from the University of Saint-Louis to Senegal.

“The pride of France”

The two specialists had laid the milestones for a refund to sub-Saharan Africa of prime artworks transferred during colonization, counting tens of thousands of works potentially concerned.

In December 2020, the French Parliament approved the transfer of ownership of these 26 rooms in Benin, now preserved at the Museum of the Quai Branly-Jacques-Chirac in Paris.

“They will be the pride of Benin. And because restore works to Africa, it is to make accessible to African youth its culture, these refunds will also be the pride of France,” added Macron In a tweet.

The refunds of works of art looted in Africa are one of the highlights of the “new relationship” that the Head of State French intends to tie with the continent.

/Media reports.