Newsletter 01/22 - Progress on restitutions

On January 29, 2021 the Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands Ingrid van Engelshoven announces that the Government wants to redress an injustice by returning cultural heritage objects stolen during the colonial era to the countries of origin, following the publication by the Council for Culture of the report Colonial Collection and a Recognition of Injustice.

On April 29, 2021 the State Minister for Culture and Media of Germany Monika Grütters announces the willingness in principle to make substantial returns of "Benin Bronzes", with the publication by the end of 2021 of the list of Bronzes held in German museums with specific indications on their provenance and in 2022 the inclusion in a list of Bronzes scattered around the world and the first returns to Nigeria that will be exhibited in the new EMOWAA museum (Edo Museum of West Africa Art).

On July 6, 2021 the State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments, in charge of Scientific Policy of Belgium Thomas Dermine announces the willingness to return the objects illegitimately acquired during the colonial era by common agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the approval of a framework law that allows definitive restitutions. On November 19, 2021 the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Tshisekedi announces the creation of a National Commission for a Common Policy on the Repatriation of Congolese Cultural Heritage.

From November 30 to December 2, 2021 the African Union Commission organized the continental experts' workshop on the "Restitution of Cultural Property and Heritage" at the Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal, elaborating a common African position that will be distributed to the member States.

With what is happening even France, which so far despite promises has returned only some of the tens of thousands of looted treasures, could be forced to approve a framework law that allows definitive restitutions, while the United Kingdom is resisting to the bitter end, despite its enormous responsibilities, denying the evidence and remaining deaf to requests.

Colonialism Reparation asks the repatriation of the remains and the definitive restitution of the treasures looted by former colonizers (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, etc.) as a first step in the direction of the Reparation of the damages of colonialism, stopping to hinder an inevitable passage of human evolution.