Showing 6 results for the tag: Kenya.

April 7, 2014

Is it time for Africa’s stolen artefacts to return home?

Posted at 1:01 pm in Similar cases

Although some of the reviews of it haven’t been that great, the film Monuments Men has done an amazing job of raising awareness for the issue of disputed artefacts.

In this article, Chika Ezeanya looks at the many African Artefacts that have ended up in the museums & institutions of the West.

A series of African sculptures in the Yale collection

A series of African sculptures in the Yale collection

Think Africa Press

It’s Time for Africa’s Stolen Artefacts to Come Home
Africa’s history has for too long laid scattered across Western museums and private collections, out of the reach of their true owners’ hearts, minds and memories.
Article | 4 April 2014 – 11:33am | By Chika Ezeanya

In a recently-released film, The Monuments Men, in which a group of Second World War soldiers embark upon a mission to save pieces of art before they are destroyed by the Nazis, Lieutenant Frank Stokes, played by George Clooney, notes: “You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they will still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, if you destroy their achievements, then it is as if they never existed.”

While in London to publicise the film, this basic premise was given contemporary significance as the all-star cast touched a sensitive nerve by suggesting it was time for Britain to return the so-called Elgin Marbles to Greece. Some British commentators hit out at the actors’ suggestions of repatriating the huge marble sculptures and pieces of architecture ‘acquired’ by Lord Elgin from Athens in the 19th century, while the Greek government expressed their “heartfelt thanks” for the show of solidarity.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 10, 2009

Africa needs it’s cultural artefacts more than the West

Posted at 1:52 pm in Similar cases

Whilst some argue that Africa is not yet ready to receive returned artefacts, Kwame Opoku argues that the original owners will derive more importance from these sculptures than the West can.


Datum: 10.01.09 15:03
Kategorie: Kultur-Kunst
Von: Dr. Kwame Opoku
Africans need their cultural objects more than Europeans & Americans

My attention has been drawn to an interesting article entitled “Looted memorial statues returned to Kenyan family” (Text as pdf file to downlad at the end of this article) by Monica Udvardy and Linda Giles which appeared in SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone) that demonstrates in an abundant way the above title which in a normal world would be self-evident but in the world of antiquities appears to be contested by some Western European and US American writers; they even argue that Africans are not yet ready or developed enough to recover their cultural objects which were stolen/looted by Europeans and are now adorning Western museums or are in depots.
Read the rest of this entry »

September 14, 2008

Building a national identity through cultural property

Posted at 4:40 pm in Similar cases

Many aspects of African culture have died out or been forgotten, but this could be in part due to removal of many of their most important artefacts to fill the museums of the west rather than to hod significance to their own people. This is far from the only problem in re-discovering a country’s culture, but it is a starting point & one that is resolved relatively easily if there is the will for both sides to negotiate.


Kenya: Fostering Nationhood
The East African (Nairobi)
OPINION – 14 September 2008
Posted to the web 15 September 2008
Betty Caplan

Two important cultural institutions — the National Museum and the RaMoMa Gallery — have reopened in the past few months with little pomp, circumstance or media attention.

But it seems that serious discussion on the arts has been overtaken by politics to such an extent that only John Kariuki in this paper took the trouble to point out that no provision for it had been made in the last budget — a short-sighted calculation since, if wisely handled, the arts can make big money.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 7, 2008

Kenyan cultural property

Posted at 12:52 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

More information on the request by Kenya for the return of numerous cultural artefacts from museums & institutions around the world.


Kenya Demands Return of Significant Artifacts
Published: August 6, 2008

NAIROBI—Kenya is asking for the return of artifacts of significant national importance that are currently owned by museums in the United States and England, the Independent reports. More than 2,000 artifacts housed in the British Museum and thousands more held by U.S. museums and in private collections are being compiled by Kenyan officials into a list of significant objects that the country wants repatriated.

In the past, attempts by Kenya to get artifacts returned were countered by arguments that the country did not have suitable facilities for them. But last month, the new National Museum, whose renovation was financed by the European Union, opened in Nairobi, and Kenyan heritage officials now insist that they can care for all types of objects.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 6, 2008

Kenya requests that its history is returned

Posted at 1:15 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A commentary of Kenya’s request for the return of artefacts by Kwame Opoku.


Kenya demands once again the restitution of Artefacts
Written by Dr. Kwame Opoku
Wednesday, 06 August 2008

As we have often emphasized in our various articles, no one intends to empty the European museums of all the African objects but there must be a selection of those the European and American museums can keep and those the African owners want back home. As the Director-General of Kenya’s National Museums has stated in the report below, we want people in Europe and America to see our artefacts but the most important ones must return home to where they belong. Is this not fair enough? In these days when museum directors and others are talking about the “heritage of mankind”, should the producers of these artefacts also not have their own share of the “heritage of mankind”? Or does that heritage belong only to those who have acquired the artefacts under dubious circumstances?
Read the rest of this entry »

August 4, 2008

Kenya asks museums to return artefacts

Posted at 12:51 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Kenya has issued a request for the return of over two thousand artefacts removed from the country during its colonial era. The artefacts are currently held in various institutions around the world, including the British Museum.The fact that such a request has been issued suggests that the previous agreements with the British Museum don’t go anywhere near far enough towards resolving the situation.

The Independent

Kenya tells museums: give our history back
Smithsonian and British Museum among institutions facing Nairobi’s demand for repatriation of nationally important artefacts
By Steve Bloomfield in Nairobi
Sunday, 3 August 2008

Kenya is demanding the return of more than 2,000 historical artefacts currently on display in the British Museum, claiming they were taken during the country’s colonial period. Skulls, spears and fossils are among the items that it wants back.

Officials in Nairobi are beginning to compile lists of objects held abroad that are considered of significant national importance. Apart from those at the British Museum, they are tracking down thousands of other items held by US museums and in private collections around the world. As many as 10,000 could be earmarked for repatriation, according to Kenyan museum officials. Kenya’s President, Mwai Kibaki, said: “These are crucial aspects of our historical and cultural heritage, and every effort must be made to bring them back.”
Read the rest of this entry »