In recent years many African countries have sought the return of cultural artefacts from former colonial powers, but the debate should go beyond just a question of ethical ownership.
Museums and other institutions in the West must take responsibility for their colonial pasts, with ex-colonial powers accepting that the history of decolonisation does not end with political independence. But African countries themselves must also acknowledge their responsibility to ensure the security of important cultural artefacts and that they are accessible and are used to support education and development. To achieve this, there must be an open and sensible dialogue between the former colonial powers and Africa, the latter often still a victim of paternalistic and unbalanced relationships.
The restitution of colonial-era objects from Western museums to their countries of origin has
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