Repatriation of Benin Art Objects From France

At the time of colonisation, France took away several artistic objects from Benin. Indeed, these objects are in most of them, objects that were made at the time of King Behanzin. But for some years now, the Beninese authorities have been working in perfect agreement with their French counterparts for the repatriation of these objects. This article will tell you more about this subject.

The negotiation between Benin and France

Since the advent of the regime of President Patrice Talon, Benin has accelerated negotiations for the return of these art objects. In total, 26 art objects will be sent to Benin. After Benin's request for the return of these works of art, Franck Riester, who is the minister in charge of French culture, announced their rapid repatriation. He declared: "the sceptres and totems that the African continent is expecting must be returned to Benin". In the same dimension, UNESCO has authorised the construction of a museum in the palaces of Abomey. To this statement of the French minister, Benin through José Pliya (Director of the National Agency for the Promotion of Heritage and Tourism in Benin) urged France to keep these objects, the time to build museums that can house them. However, in 2018, the French president made a surprise statement indicating the immediate repatriation of these 26 Beninese art objects. So it is Benin's turn to respond favourably to this idea of President Macron. For this, in 2019 a programme was signed between Benin and France. This programme highlights the passage of these art objects, by way of loans and exhibition.

Arrival of 28 art objects in Benin

Prior to the negotiation for the return of the 26 works of art, Benin had experienced the repatriation of 28 art objects to these lands. These objects were installed in the Récade Museum, located in Abomey Calavi. All of these works consist of sceptres, objects of kings and objects of Fon worship.