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Senegal demands art back from France

LOOTED ART: France's president Emmanuel Macron commissioned a report on the return of historical African objects to their country of origin

THE GOVERNMENT of Senegal has said it wants France to return all of the art looted from the country that is on display in museums.

The demands come after the authors of a report, commissioned by the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, made recommendations that artefacts stolen from nations during the colonial era should be returned to their countries of origin if requested.

A new museum, the Museum of Black Civilisations, is set to open in the capital of Senegal, Dakar. The museum, the idea of which was first broached more than 50 years ago, has been made possible as a result of $20 million (£16 million) of Chinese investment.

Abdou Latif Coulibaly, Senegal’s culture minister, expressed his agreement with the French report in an interview with the BBC.

He said: “We've read it and we consider it's a positive report - it's legitimate and follows the course of history.”

He added that the government of Senegal had already requested the return of more than 100 historical and cultural artefacts from France.

Museums and galleries around the world are facing the prospect of returning stolen artefacts back to their countries of origin.

Last week it was announced that the British Museum will return the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria after they were looted by British soldiers in 1897.

The treasures are set to be given back to their country of origin on a loan basis but campaigners have said that this move does not mark an end in negotiations to have the items handed back to Nigeria for good.

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