• Al Jazeera

Germany Commits to Returning Looted African Cultural Heritage

June 27, 2022

[Image Source: Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE]

Cited article by Al Jazeera


HRRC supports and encourages the return of colonial-era antiquities and artifacts to their origin countries. While in museums these artifacts can provide educational benefit, many hold significant intangible value for the communities from which they came.


Article Summary


The Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation is currently in negotiations to return cultural heritage to Namibia, Tanzania, and Cameroon. Among the objects being returned is a goddess statue of religious significance to the Nso' people of north Cameroon, 23 objects to Namibia, and objects looted from Tanzania during conflicts in the early 20th century. The majority of this heritage were taken during Germany's colonial era, and were brought to Germany by collectors and military officers.


The Foundation's president, Hermann Parzinger, noted that the return of this heritage isn't always based on justice or legal regards, rather it holds that “The special significance – in particular spiritual – of an artefact for the community it originated from may also justify return,”.