NEWS
France returns historic artefacts to Benin and funds €20m museum to house cultural treasures
POSTED 22 Jul 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
A €20m (US$22.4m, £18m) loan from the French Development Agency (FDA) is to be used in the construction of a new museum in Abomey, Benin, which will house objects of art and cultural heritage that are being restituted from France.

The museum to house the 26 artefacts will be situated at the Royal Palaces of the Kingdom of Dahomey – a Unesco World Heritage Site – and is due to open in 2021.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to return the items in November 2018, which are currently in the possession of Musée du quai Branly in the French capital of Paris. The collection includes a gold throne and various bronzes, which were taken from the West African nation by French soldiers towards the end of the 19th century.

The return of the objects will allow us to build a new museum and make the royal palaces more economically sustainable," said Gabin Djimass, tourism chief in Abomey, speaking to AFP, who added that the reclamation offered "a chance for the survival of the site".

The €20m loan used to develop the new museum, says the FDA, will make the 0.47sq km (0.18sq mi) site more appealing to visitors. As part of the plans, prospective staff at the School of African Heritage in Porto-Novo, the capital city of Benin, are being trained to ensure the necessary chain of skills are available to run the museum when it opens.
 


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22 Jul 2019

France returns historic artefacts to Benin and funds €20m museum to house cultural treasures
BY Andy Knaggs

The Royal Palaces of Abomey will be home to the €20m museum

The Royal Palaces of Abomey will be home to the €20m museum
photo: Karalyn Monteil/Unesco

A €20m (US$22.4m, £18m) loan from the French Development Agency (FDA) is to be used in the construction of a new museum in Abomey, Benin, which will house objects of art and cultural heritage that are being restituted from France.

The museum to house the 26 artefacts will be situated at the Royal Palaces of the Kingdom of Dahomey – a Unesco World Heritage Site – and is due to open in 2021.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to return the items in November 2018, which are currently in the possession of Musée du quai Branly in the French capital of Paris. The collection includes a gold throne and various bronzes, which were taken from the West African nation by French soldiers towards the end of the 19th century.

The return of the objects will allow us to build a new museum and make the royal palaces more economically sustainable," said Gabin Djimass, tourism chief in Abomey, speaking to AFP, who added that the reclamation offered "a chance for the survival of the site".

The €20m loan used to develop the new museum, says the FDA, will make the 0.47sq km (0.18sq mi) site more appealing to visitors. As part of the plans, prospective staff at the School of African Heritage in Porto-Novo, the capital city of Benin, are being trained to ensure the necessary chain of skills are available to run the museum when it opens.



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