Benin prepares for the return of its treasures taken by France

Benin is preparing for the restitution of 26 cultural heritage items, taken by French colonisers in 1892. It’s a major moment for Beninese citizens who work in the cultural and heritage sectors, who want to ensure that they are well prepared to receive the artefacts.
A picture taken on May 1, 2019 on Abomey-Calavi shows the entrance of the historical museum of Abomey, a 47 hectares site composed by a set of royal palaces, inscribed on the list of the world heritage of UNESCO since December 1985. – The display cases at the royal palaces in Benin’s sleepy southern town of Abomey are coated in dust and the exhibition halls plunged in darkness. But local tourism chief Gabin Djimasse hopes all this will change with the return of 26 artefacts from former colonial master France and the construction of a new museum to hold them. In November 2018 French President Emmanuel Macron took the landmark decision to return the artworks — including a royal throne — taken by French troops over a century ago and housed at the Quai Branly museum in Paris. (Photo by Yanick Folly / AFP)


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