The meeting was unprecedented in its nature and scope, as several European countries began the process of restoring heritage plundered from Africa during the colonial period. “Heritage, we must ensure that it is not a space of conflict but a space for dialogue”, Hamadi Bokom, director of the Museum of Black Civilizations in Senegal, told a news conference.
“We should not look only in terms of elements of restoration. We (African countries) should not live in a perspective of subjugation, thinking that our heritage is in European museums. Africa continues to produce. We must continue to build collections of African art.” Needed.” of contemporary art so that tomorrow, we are not told that we have been robbed again”. He added.
“We do not want to centralize colonization in the narrative of African history”, He also said, referring to “parenthesis” Given the millennial history of the continent. In their joint statement, the museum directors acted “grouping” their efforts “documenting, preserving and reinterpreting collections in Africa and Europe and making them available to the public through digitization, research, education and exhibitions”.
“We believe that the development of joint traveling exhibitions, with multiple partners, traveling across Africa and Europe, is a means to transform the stories that form our vision of the world”, they continue. The museum’s directors presented their program to political partners and donors who could contribute to its sustainability, stressing that the meeting was only a forum.
“We want to support them, finance them because I think it’s a matter of development, protecting the heritage, making it available, using it for education”, Remy Rioux, director general of the French development agency, told AFP.
“The cultural policy of Germany aims at a new partnership with African countries in terms of truth and trust. Thus, the restoration is not and will not be the end but the beginning of a new reflection”, For his part, Andreas Goergen, Secretary General of the German Ministry of Culture, underlined.