A recent article entitled “Colombia calls off exhibition of sculptures in face of protests”, reprinted by the Museum Security Network, seems to me to contain some lessons which may be useful for Nigerians and other Africans, often faced with requests to lend artefacts to the very Western museums that are illegally holding onto artefacts that had been looted in the colonial times or stolen/removed under dubious or unclarified circumstances. (1)
What the people of San Agustin, a township in southern Colombia, have done was to prevent the removal of 20 monoliths from their town to Bogota that had already been packed and were to have been the centrepieces of an exhibition on San Agustin culture. The Colombian Minister of Culture therefore had to cancel the exhibition. The exhibition was to celebrate”100th anniversary of excavations in San Agustin by German ethnologist Konrad Preuss, who helped uncover many of the pieces now in the town’s museum and archaeological park”.
read full text at: