There are millions of African artifacts currently scattered across Europe and America, there are over 300,000 stolen treasures in France alone, of which one-third are from Africa.
As regarding this subject, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron apologized and asked that a law should be passed that all African artifacts in the country should be returned to their rightful place.
However, the French government stated that it would dictate the pace at which the stolen treasures would be returned.
In response to this, seven of Africa’s artifacts have been returned to Africa which include:
Patrice Lumumba’a Teeth: Patrice Lumumba is a figure in the history of liberation in Democratic Republic of Congo. He was part of the frontlines for the liberation of the people of DR Congo. His corpse was dissolved in acid after his death except for the gold tooth which was kept as a trophy by the Belgian policemen. The Belgian authorities finally returned it after 61 years on June 22, 2022.
Sarah Baartman’s remains: A South African woman who was stolen from her home and displayed as a freak show in 19th century Europe. In 1815 she died but her brain, skeleton and sexual organs still remained on display in a Paris museum until 1974. Her body was later returned after 200 years and on March 6, 2002 her remains were returned and buried at Hankey in the Eastern Cape Province.
Dahomey throne: The Dahomey throne in Benin formerly known as the Dahomey kingdom was stolen in 1892 from the last king of the kingdom, King Guezo and was returned on November 10, 2021. Other items which were returned includes; the thrones of former kings, four doors of the Royal Palace of Abomey, altars, royal scepters, statues representing former kings, a calabash, and army clothes from one of Benin’s famous female soldiers.
Sword of Omar Saidou Tall: The sword of Omar Saidou Tall, a West African leader who led an anti-colonial struggle against the French was returned on November 17, 2019. He was a political and religious leader who led his people in battle and fought against the French troops from 1857 to 1859. It was said that he mysteriously disappeared.
Bronze Cockerel of the Benin Kingdom: The Bronze cockerel of the Benin kingdom was handed over to its people by Cambridge University after 124 years. It was stolen by the British troops in 1897 and was returned on October 27, 2021.
Head of Oba Bronze Statue of the Benin Kingdom: The Head of Oba statue was also returned on October 27, 2021. It was handed over to the Nigerian High Commission, and the current Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II in Nigeria. The statue holds great historic and spiritual significance to the people of Benin.
Kakungu Mask: The Kakungu mask belonged to the Suku people who inhabited the southwest region of DR Congo. The mask was handed over to the Congolese president on June 8, 2022. The Suku people used the mask during important ceremonies.