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Beyond a matter of ownership

history of decolonisation

Dr Yaya Moussa

By Dr Yaya Moussa

The founder and president of Africa Prime, a video on demand service dedicated to celebrating African talent.

Posted on Tuesday, 28 June 2022 14:47

View of a looted artwork from Nigeria, that now resides in a British museum, which is turned into a non-fungible token (NFT), with the project’s aim to give part of its sale proceeds to fund young African artists, in this handout image obtained May 23, 2022. Looty Art/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT – RC2JDU9MYIVG

From the Rosetta Stone to Magdala’s Ethiopian Treasures, the Parthenon’s Marbles to the Bust of Nefertiti, there is an endless list of artefacts that can be argued were illegally or unethically taken and put on display around the world far from the cultures that originated the works.

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.

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