Prof Pitika Ntuli on growing calls for African artefacts restitution

Interviews
24 Nov 2018

Calls have been growing in Africa for the restitution of its cultural treasures, but French law strictly forbids the government from giving up state property. This issue was put in the spotlight in 2016 when President Patric Talon of Benin asked France to return items including carvings sceptres and sacred doors from the Palaces of Abomey. Now, experts appointed by President Emmanuel Macron will advise him to allow the return of thousands of African artworks held in French museums. This is seen as a radical shift in policy which could put pressure on other former colonial powers. To discuss this further, I'm joined by cultural expert Professor Pitika Ntuli.  

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Calls have been growing in Africa for the restitution of its cultural treasures, but French law strictly forbids the government from giving up state property. This issue was put in the spotlight in 2016 when President Patric Talon of Benin asked France to return items including carvings sceptres and sacred doors from the Palaces of Abomey. Now, experts appointed by President Emmanuel Macron will advise him to allow the return of thousands of African artworks held in French museums. This is seen as a radical shift in policy which could put pressure on other former colonial powers. To discuss this further, I'm joined by cultural expert Professor Pitika Ntuli.