Jan 25, 2012

Symposium on African Cultural Patrimony at Stanford University

The issue of Africa's claim to its plundered cultural patrimony is becoming mainstreamed through several conferences and emergent publications. Stanford University's Ruth K. Franklin Symposium on the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas was this year devoted to the subject. The symposium featured presentations from renowned experts on cultural patrimony law such as KateFitz Gibbon and Emeritus Professor John Merryman (who literally wrote the book on this subject), and from scholars and museum personnel. I presented a paper (Who Owns Africa’s Cultural Heritage? Museums, African Cultural Patrimony and the Issue of Restitution) that made a case for the Edo Kingdom of Benin's claim over its looted cultural patrimony currently located in museums and private collections all over the world.

Picture: Visitors to the British Museums viewing examples of Benin bronze plaques.
Picture credit: The Guardian newspapers, UK.

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