More than 40,000 artifacts from the former colony of Cameroon are stored in German museums. comes to this conclusion Study » Atlas of Absence. Cameroonian cultural heritage in Germany « A group of scholars led by art historian Bénédicte Savoy, who is studying in Berlin, in collaboration with seven German museums. In 2018, the 51-year-old, together with Senegalese sociologist Floin Sarr, submitted a report on colonial cultural origins to French President Emmanuel Macron, sparking a debate about the return of cultural origins.
Cameroon was a German colony from 1884 to 1919. During this time, items such as musical instruments, textiles, weapons, jewelry, architectural elements, utensils, and ritual figurines or masks were brought into what was then the German Reich.
African and European participants from the Technical University of Berlin on Savoy and Dechang University in Cameroon on the cultural scientist Albert Guafu see “Atlas of Absence” as a contribution to the discussion of compensation. In Savoy’s words, at the start of the work they had no idea of the “enormous dimensions of tangible cultural heritage from Cameroon in German ethnological museums and the shocking extent of the ignorance of it, both in Cameroon and in Germany”.
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