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Benedict Savoy’s book on plundered art from Africa

In In January 1965, the monthly magazine “Bingo”, published in Tucker, the capital of Senegal, published an editorial by its editor-in-chief, writer and journalist Pauline Joachim, who was born and raised in Tahomi under French colonial rule. In his speech entitled “Rendezvous Lord Nagre” (“Give Negro Art Back to Us”), Joachim calls on his readers to fight the “war” on the restoration of African art in all corners of Europe. And the United States. ”According to Joachim, the” recovery of the material resources of the black African soul “may have” given little to the glory of the continent’s of Greece, “but it was also not satisfied with the editorial demands;

“We plundered,” said Paul Joachim, a museum dweller in the West. Explains denied geniuses to the whole world. “

The book that hits the mark

If you read these phrases in 2021, you do not know what to wonder too much about: even after half a century of post-colonial restructuring debates, the same reasons are still being used against the return of works of art from Africa; Or about the clarity that its author expected of the cultural struggles that would come after the independence of most black African countries. The tone of the condemnations and denunciations that provoked the property claims of Africans in Europe and the United States rightly struck Paul’s zeal. Of the three main arguments of those who oppose the Restoration, he omits only the third, because it already seemed absurd to him in 1965 – that the claimed property had been purchased in a fair and honest manner by their current owners.

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Art historian Benedict Savoy quotes Joachim in his first chapter on the “History of Post-Colonial Failure”: The Lost War for the Restoration of African Art in the 1970s. A science book is seldom mentioned in such a heated expert controversy. The author himself has been at the center of the debate since the author condemned the lack of transparency of the ethno-permanent exhibition planned at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin in 2017 compared to Chernobyl.