Report commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron is out today

108 Pages On The Restitution Of Looted Art From Africa

The report comes out at a time when the subject of colonial restitution has become a worldwide public issue.

Rajkamal Kahlon. Altered cover of Die Völker Der Erde, by Kurt Lampert, 2017. Ink and gouache on bookcovers. Courtesy the artist.

“Behind the mask of beauty, the question of restitution invites us to go right to the heart of a system of appropriation and alienation, the colonial system …”

These are the first words of a groundbreaking 108-page-report coming out today and commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron. In conversation with 150 experts in France and Africa, French art historian Bénédicte Savoy and Senegalese academic Felwine Sarr evaluated the need for urgent restitution of looted African artifacts held in French museums.

Only time will tell how this report will impact ethnographic collections in France and elsewhere in Europe, such as London’s British Museum and Berlin’s Humboldt Forum.

The full report can be read in English and French at



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