The contemporary plundering of Africa’s past
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The plundering of Africa goes on unabated, robbing Africans and humanity of a cultural heritage that has not yet been fully explored. The loss is enormous, and as collectors vie for the possession of the so-called “tribal art” in an ever-inflating market (Barker and Stewart, 1996), the loss is becoming disastrous. I have outlined above some of the means by which we can halt or slow down the ruthless plundering of Africa’s past, and hope that we may begin to see Africa’s great heritage not simply as outstanding art, as it is often displayed in museums and exhibits, but, more importantly, as a legacy of rich, vibrant social and spiritual traditions and as an irreplaceable vehicle of historical knowledge about those traditions.
KeywordsArchaeological Heritage Illicit Traffic Royal Tropical Institute Criminal Accusation Ford Research Laboratory
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