#KayaIsAfrica African Art stolen during colonisation
16 May 2018 ARTS & CULTURE
By Zuko Komisa
African artifacts stolen by colonisers
The looting of a country’s resources is a common trait with colonisers, they pillage and take everything of value to enrich their own nations, this is not any different with valuable parts of a country’s history. We always talk about the many vaults filled with gold, diamonds, and platinum from Africa, but there are galleries filled with ancient African history, relics, sculpture spoils from a bitter past.
There is growing interest from the pillaged nations for the return of these artworks to their home nation. Original pieces of significant importance in the continent’s heritage, artwork from the home nation’s skilled craftsmen and women.
This awareness and urgency gained even more prominence after the blockbuster film “Black Panther.” In one scene from the multi-billion dollar grossing film, Killmonger retrieves a piece of art from his native land Wakanda that had been stolen many years ago.
Many of these artworks are gathering dust at many foreign museums, you see statues from Eygpt, which clearly resemble the facial features of black Africans displayed at the British Museums.
The importance of returning ancient relics
Art imitates life, and knowing more about how our ancestors as Africans lived is imperative for future generations. It connects the African continent to the fabric of our history. Depriving the youth of Africa their true history is equally deceptive as it is unjust.
There have been calls to return the artifacts to their native lands to no avail. In a recent chain of events Benin, a former French colony, requested their artifacts be returned to the country of origin. These works were looted by the French government. This is everything from stones, chains, jewels artwork, objects that have been in France for over a century.
Examples of the stolen artifact being displayed abroad
The statue of Queen Nefertiti.
The Bangwa Queen, Cameroon
Although we there is a call for African artifacts to be returned to their native land, there are few colonizing nations that are paying attention. The below artwork has since been returned to it’s native land.