Africa : 'Stolen' treasures better off in the West, says African curator


Well-Known Member
Oct 25, 2005
'Stolen' treasures better off in the West, says African curator
By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi
(Filed: 13/04/2006)

Antiquities "looted" during the colonial era are better off in western collections than being returned to Africa, according to a Kenyan curator overseeing an exhibition of artefacts loaned to Nairobi by the British Museum.

Governments in Africa and other former colonies have long demanded that Europe hands back boatloads of relics plundered by explorers, anthropologists, missionaries and others before and during colonisation.

But facilities to care for precious objects that may otherwise be left to rot are far better among the world's great museum houses than those in Africa, Kiprop Lagat said yesterday.

Mr Lagat, 35, is running a six-month exhibition of 140 items loaned from among the British Museum's store of 12,000 east African relics, most of which are in storage.

The curators have chosen artefacts from eight countries and dating from 1672 to 2002.

It is the first time that east African objects held in any major European collection have been displayed in Africa.

Their arrival has again stirred the debate over restitution of antiquities making up key aspects of Africa's cultural heritage that are never viewed by Africans.

"Western museums have better facilities and the items are better taken care of there, whereas here in Africa the concept of museums and curating is a relatively new one," said Mr Lagat.

"There you have special buildings with controlled environments, humidity monitors, secure storage, ultraviolet filters on windows, so many things. Here we are putting those things in place, but we are not there yet."

The exhibition, Hazina: Traditions, Trade and Transitions in Eastern Africa, is housed in the former home of the colonial provincial commissioner, one of Nairobi's oldest buildings, which has been renovated as a gallery.

There are new deadlocks on the doors and a sophisticated alarm system but Nairobi's smog drifts through open windows from the clogged roundabout outside.

In buildings housing some of Kenya's own collections of national treasures, power cuts are common, storage and cataloguing are sometimes chaotic and low visitor numbers keep investment down.

The British Museum is working with National Museums of Kenya to change that and the exhibition is hopefully the first of many joint ventures.

"The British Museum is committed to developing these kinds of collaborations across the world to generate a deeper understanding of a global citizenship," said Neil MacGregor, the museum's director.

The British Government and the British Council are backing the museum's plans with £1 million in handouts, which will enable further exhibitions, including displays in Ethiopia and Mali.

It is unclear yet whether their efforts will soften the views of those who want all artefacts returned to Africa.

"When you see all this in here, it looks fantastic, but it leaves a sour taste in the mouth," said Gikonyo Muchiri, 28, a graphic designer from Nairobi, who was touring the exhibition yesterday.

"How can you loan something back to the person you stole it from, then expect him to give it back again?"


Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2005
The reality of the situation is that they hold Africas treasures as tokens to their take over of the continent.They are also trying to erase something that belongs in Afrika and something that Afrika has the most of,our-story.What they have are spoils of war and conquest,not artifacts.

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Destee Black People : The Pope Should Return Africa's Stolen Treasures Before He Retires Black People Open Forum 11
cherryblossom Black Positive People : Brother Takes Stolen Tribal Treasures Back To Africa Black People Doing Positive Things 2
One-Hundredd Egypt : Stolen Legacy (1988 documentary) of African History and footage in Egypt Egypt 4
Clyde C Coger Jr Black Spirituality Religion : Stolen 400-year-old Bible from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library recovered in Netherlands Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 0
IFE Black People Politics : Georgia election voting machines stolen from vehicle in grocery store parking lot Black People Politics 11
OldSoul OldSoul : Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed OldSoul 0
Orisons Black People : Has China's Soul been Stolen? Black People Open Forum 2
Ankhur Audio Video Web Conferencing : Carmen MCrae and Betty Carter, Stolen Moments Audio Video Web Conferencing 0
Ankhur Black People Politics : President Obama's Teleprompter Stolen Black People Politics 1
OldSoul OldSoul : The Life That Was Stolen From Us OldSoul 8
Writeous1 Black People : The Story Behind Black's Stolen 2000 and 2004 Election Votes Black People Open Forum 5
RAPTOR Black People : The Stolen Generation Black People Open Forum 4
V Black People : The Stolen Legacy Audiobook: Forward Black People Open Forum 1
skuderjaymes Blackpridenetwork & stolen content. Violators and Violations (Possible Ones) 1
gogounited Black Spirituality Religion : The Stolen Spirituality-Reality of the World Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 8
jamesfrmphilly Black People : the stolen car Black People Open Forum 9
A Black Spirituality Religion : Where the Adam and Eve story was stolen from Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 35
tyab14 African American History Culture : Read Stolen Legay (G James) Online African American History Culture 9
T Black People : ‘Self-Help’: A Stolen Word Wielded as a Weapon Against Black Activism Black People Open Forum 0
Thuso Black People : Another stolen election, this time at the hands of the Democrats? Black People Open Forum 1
P Black People : Another Stolen Election? Black People Open Forum 6
Destee Black Entertainment : ShowTime at the Apollo ... STOLEN ?? Black Entertainment 3
Omowale Jabali George G.M. James and the Stolen Legacy of African People Honoring Black Ancestors 2
D Black People : Black police officer made to pay for his own "stolen" gun Black People Open Forum 0
S Black Poetry : Her Innocence Was Stolen Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 14
M Nigeria : $420billion stolen by Nigeria's corrupt leaders Nigeria 13
A Black Poetry : .::Stolen Words::. Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 24
Joyce Black Poetry : STOLEN Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 11
P Black People : Stolen Dreams! Black People Open Forum 14
daroc Black Short Stories : stolen property...ending Short Stories - Authors - Writing 3
daroc Black Short Stories : stolen property...... Short Stories - Authors - Writing 2
daroc Black Short Stories : stolen property continued...... Short Stories - Authors - Writing 3
daroc Black Short Stories : stolen property I and II Short Stories - Authors - Writing 3
daroc Black Short Stories : stolen property Short Stories - Authors - Writing 3
E Black Haiku : Stolen Innocence Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 9
I Black Poetry : Stolen Innocence Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 7
M Black People : STOLEN LEGACY!!! {A Black Woman} is the Author of the "MATRIX" Movie Black People Open Forum 8
N Black Poetry : Stolen Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 3
R Black Poetry : stolen moments Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 6
Clyde C Coger Jr Africa : Africans cheer call for France to return treasures All Things Africa 2
Alarm Clock Black People : Saving Detroit’s Art Treasures – While the Rest of the City is Picked Clean Black People Open Forum 0
noor100 Black Muslims : U.S. Looted Thousands of Iraq's Cultural Treasures Islam Study Group 0
howardtsu Black Poetry : Desperate Treasures Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 4
G Black Spirituality Religion : I Hope My Life Is Better In The Next Life. Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion 6
Clyde C Coger Jr Health and Wellness : Decolonizing Dermatology: Why Black and Brown Skin Need Better Treatment Black Health and Wellness 0
R Black Poetry : Put words on a truck and these nerds better duck make birds fly up lost in the sky while girls toss pie on a sexual high take vocab to the club for ac Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 1
R Black Poetry : Its clear doe a year ago a boy starved for sex carved some complex words in a love letter in the club her thing wetter and the wetter the better acco Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On! 1
Angela22 Black People Politics : Do Y'all Really Believe Hillary Would Have Been Better for Black America than Trump... Black People Politics 126
Clyde C Coger Jr Black People : Candace Owens: Blacks Did Better in the First 100 Years After Slavery Black People Open Forum 6
Similar threads

Latest profile posts

Destee wrote on rhymebad's profile.
I Love You! :love:
Destee wrote on dunwiddat's profile.
Good to see you Sister! :cheerleader:
Kemetstry wrote on dunwiddat's profile.
Where have you been hiding ?
Cheryl Fitts wrote on Destee's profile.
I am looking for participants in a study to share their experiences as former African American males served as ED/EBD/BD in the southeast. Participants ages 18-35 will be interviewed and given the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and impressions of their school years. If interested or for more information please contact me directly. Thanks, Cheryl
Cheryl Fitts wrote on Destee's profile.
Thank you for the welcome. I have a question. I am a doctorate student in need of participants for my study. Is it allowable to post a request for study participants. If so, this is the post that would be uploaded: