French Senate approves restoring African cultural property
2020-11-05 13:44:40 / PL
The French Senate unanimously approved a bill on Thursday restoring cultural property from Senegal and Benin, to rebuild cultural relations with Africa.
The Chamber also introduced in the text the creation of a 'National Council to reflect on the issues on the circulation and return of extra-European cultural property,' managing a scientific supervision.
The decision will allow transferring to Benin some 26 items of the 'Treasure of Behanzin', taken during the looting of the Abomey Palace in 1892. They are now at the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris.
Senegal could be given back a sword and its scabbard attributed to El Hadj Omar Tall, a great West African military and religious figure of the 19th century. The two pieces are the property of the Army Museum in Paris and are currently displayed at an exhibition in Dakar as a long-term loan.
The Senate's initiative must be ratified by the National Assembly (Parliament), although with little prospects as the government, which has a majority in this chamber, opposes it.