Belgium: Repoening of Africa Museum sparks debate over artefact restitution

Belgium's Africa museum reopened its doors in the Tervuren Palace outside Brussels on Sunday, after five years of restoration works. The reopening has fueled a debate on whether African artefacts should be given back to their countries of origin, as President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila called for the repatriation of the items. «Whether the works of art that came from... Еще Africa should be returned or not is of course a big issue since [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron has said that it's not normal that more than 80 percent of African cultural heritage is outside of Africa. We do fully agree with President Macron that this is not normal, and so this museum has a very open attitude to the restitution issue», said Director of Africa Museum Bruno Verberget. The museum was founded by King Leopold II to house items collected in the Congo Free State during Belgian rule, including beheaded skulls of tribal chiefs and stuffed animals slaughtered by hunters.
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