Museum Security Network

LET OTHERS LOOT FOR YOU: LOOTING OF AFRICAN ARTEFACTS FOR WESTERN MUSEUMS (Kwame Opoku)

“A famous American museum director, from a very well-known museum in New York, once wrote that he could not identify an image inserted in one of my articles (a Nok sculpture) because his museum did not have such a piece from that culture. The underlying argument, of course, is that African artefacts achieve recognizable status and importance only when they are in Western museums, whether looted or legally acquired. Most Western museums, however, have not hesitated to acquire a considerable number of African terra cotta. This appears to be the case of the Musée Barbier-Mueller, Geneva, which is now at the centre of a big dispute about the legality of its acquisitions of African terra cotta.” 

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