November 30, 2005
For some time now, the British Museum has been publicising its decision to loan a number of Kenyan artefacts to Kenya for a temporary exhibition. Whilst this is a positive step in the right direction, should we really be congratulating the museum for offering to lend for a short period, artefacts that were in many cases acquired in dubious circumstances – to the very people that they were taken from in the first place? It seems that at present, in many ways this is a win-win situation for the British Museum – they get the publicity for their grand gesture to a poorer country, but they get the artefacts back soon after anyway.
30 November 2005
British Museum returns African treasures for Kenyan exhibition
Published: 30 November 2005
When the Kenyan curator Kiprop Lagat was invited in to the British Museum this year, he was given free rein to peruse all the 12,000 treasures in its vast eastern Africa collections.
Now, in a groundbreaking deal which could resolve decades of bickering over Britain’s colonial plundering, 140 of those items are going back to Africa for the first time for a special exhibition which will open in Nairobi in the spring.
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