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Looted and illegally acquired African objects in European museums: issues of restitution and repatriation in Ghana

Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa Dzidzienyo
Samuel Nilirmi Nkumbaan


Ghana’s post-independence governments have made a number of requests for the return of looted and illegally acquired Ghanaian cultural objects in the collections of European museums. While the majority of those requests were denied, a few were honoured. This paper assesses three of the demands and the aftermath of their return. It also examines the preparedness of heritage institutions and museums in Ghana in
relation to issues of restitution and repatriation. The paper identifies the numerous challenges confronting the museum and heritage sector in Ghana and concludes by calling on policy makers, traditional authorities, universities and the government of Ghana to deepen public awareness of cultural heritage, invest more in museums and heritage institutions to function well and revisit earlier demands that were denied.

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print ISSN: 2343-6530