Towards a renewed Concept of Museum in Africa – and in Europe*

  • The debates about what to do with collections from colonial contexts, and how to deal with them, have developed pace and unexpected momentum in the last three years. This is especially true for artifacts from the African continent, whether they are in museums or collections in Europe, North America, or elsewhere outside the continent. But the same is true under different circumstances, and we do not want to pass over this, for colonial collections and museums in Africa. Let's take a closer look at both in light of recent debates. The discussions about whether, to whom and when under which circumstances a return, or rather indeed: an unequivocal restitution is appropriate or not, have recently experienced differentiations. This applies already to the preconditions of most restitutions, namely the opening and making accessible of the inventories. While some think that in principle everything should be put online, another opinion maintains that whenever possible, the creators or original holders should have their say beforehand, especially in the case of 'sensitive' objects such as those containing human remains, of a sacred nature, or photographs of contexts of violence. This has also brought other issues into focus – questions about the various forms of rights of disposal, about the forms and functions of museums in Africa, and in Europe and elsewhere.

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Author:Nelson Adebo Abiti, Thomas LaelyGND
Publisher:ZZF - Centre for Contemporary History: Zeitgeschichte online
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Online Publication
Date of first Publication:2021/02/16
Release Date:2021/06/04
ZZF Topic-Classification:Geschichtsdidaktik
Postcolonial Studies
Bildung und Universitäten
Global History
ZZF Regional-Classification:regional übergreifend
ZZF Chronological-Classification:21. Jahrhundert
Web-Publications:Zeitgeschichte online
Licence (German):License LogoZZF - Clio Lizenz