Making the Restitution of Benin Cultural Heritage Effective. Advocacy and Management Strategies


Master's Thesis, 2018
80 Pages, Grade: 10

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEGMENTS

ABSTRACT

ABBREVIATIONS

RESUME

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Research Questions and Methodology

II. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

1. Colonialization

a. Background

b. Classic Colonialization

c. Practical Aspects of Colonialization in Africa

2. Cultural Consequences

3. Pillage of artifacts

III. UNDERSTANDING THE BENIN RESTITUTION CLAIM

1. Understanding the Concept of Restitution

2. International Legal Frameworksand Instruments dealing with Restitution

3. Return/Restitution cases

4. Restitution Of Benin Cultural Heritage

a. Looting of Benin Cultural heritage and consequences

b. Cultural heritage and identity reconstruction

c. Strategic orientation of Benin cultural policy related to Cultural Heritage

d. Case of Benin restitution Claim

e. Advocacy recommendations

IV. BENIN MUSEUM STRATEGY

1. Analyze of Benin Current heritage management Strategy

2. Historical Museum of Abomey

4. Recommendations

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ACKNOWLEGMENTS

To God, for the protection , the spiritual guidance and the forgiveness.

I thank Professor Milena Dragicevic Sesic for her support , guidance and patience. This master programme means a lot in my professional career and I deeply appreciate the learning time, the constructive critiques and the precious advice for the successful completion of this project.

Also, special thanks are extended to my lovely family and friends. I'm thoroughly grateful to Straton Ayabatwa, a dear father who has been generous and very supportive in contributing to a more stability in my professional career.

ABSTRACT

Through colonization, plunder and massive theft, the former Kingdom of Danxome, current Republic of Benin has lost since 1892 significant amount of irreplaceable works of art and artifacts which represent valuable symbols and information on Benin people's cultures and identities. This has caused the displacement, distortion, disintegration and identity deconstruction of the traditional and indigenous people and cultures. Therefore, it is a rightful approach when the Benin authorities claimed in August 2016, restitution of those artifacts which are traced in well-known French museums and private collections.

However, while Benin government may have a strong ethical and political case for the restitution, research clearly shows that the juridical case is very weak and represents an infirmity in the effectiveness of the ongoing restitution process. Consequently, this thesis explores alternative means and advocacy strategies for effective restitution. Diplomatic negotiations and UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee mediation are proven to be the most effective ways and means to obtain restitution. The thesis explores some proven successful cases of restitution and suggests a process of three (3) successive steps for the restitution of Benin cultural heritage from France including loans, co-ownership and effective restitution. Extensive research and community participatory appraisal are identified and recommended to enhance current Benin advocacy strategy.

Meanwhile, although Benin has ratified all UNESCO conventions except for 1995 UNIDROIT Convention and established a quite impressive number of national legislations related to heritage protection and promotion, there are still some weaknesses. These include lack of inventory, lack of museum management strategy, lack of innovation and attractiveness in the management of cultural heritage coupled with lack of appropriate mechanisms and instruments to enforce the legislation. There is need for capacity building for national heritage institutions and professionals, need to create a special heritage army to stop illicit art, to develop inter-sectorial linkage strategies as well as diversification of programs offered by heritage institutions and sites. Harmonization with professional standard of operations coupled with an effective use of technologies will definitely improve the attractiveness of Benin heritage institutions and would significantly contribute to develop the country tourism sector.

ABBREVIATIONS

AFRICOM - African Council of Museums

AU - African Union

ECOSOC - United Nations Economic and Social Council

ICOM - International Council of Museums

IGC - Intergovernmental Committee

INTERPOL - International Police

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UNIDROIT - International Institute for the Unification of Private Law

RESUME

La these examine les consequences culturelles de la colonisation liees a la spoliation du patrimoine culturel ainsi que les capacites juridiques et manageriales de la Republique du Benin a se faire restituer ses reuvres d'arts spoliees, a les proteger et les promouvoir.

Meme si la colonisation n'a pas ete formellement, juridiquement, condamnee, ses sequelles sur les peuples colonises sont universellement regrettees. L'alteration des identites personnelles et sociales, entrainant avec elle la perte de valeurs culturelles, est, sans doute, l'une des plus criardes d'entre elles. Cette alteration atteint a la fois la memoire collective et le projet unificateur des nations en vue de leur ancrage dans un veritable processus de developpement.

Conscients de ce handicap, des Etats postcoloniaux ont envisage des demarches correctives diverses parmi lesquelles la recuperation du patrimoine culturel spolie constitue un symbole fort. En effet, comme l'affirme Monsieur M'Bow, A., ancien secretaire general de l'UNESCO : « Une nation souffre d'affliction a la spoliation des auvres qu'elle a creees ; une nation doit etre vivante au niveau de rimagination et le retour et la restitution permettent a une nation de recuperer une partie de sa memoire et de son identite. » 1

Le present memoire s'interesse precisement au cas du Benin, ancienne colonie fran^aise, qui a ete depossede, selon l'UNESCO, de plus de six mille (6000) reuvres d'art et d'antiquites pendant et apres les hostilites de la conquete coloniale, pour des musees et collections privees d'Europe en general, de France en particulier. L'Etat beninois a adresse la demande officielle de restitution en aout 2016 a la France qui lui a repondu favorablement. L'Etat fran^ais a mis en place un comite d'experts pour explorer les modalites de faisabilite de retour de ces reuvres au Benin, pour temoigner d'une volonte politique de collaboration. Il reste comment rendre effectif ce processus de restitution en tenant compte des exigences legales et procedurales en la matiere.

Notre hypothese principale est :

La demande de restitution du Benin et la volonte de collaboration de la France ne suffisent pas pour rendre efficiente la restitution des reuvres culturelles. Il faut aller au-dela : inspecter les cadres juridiques national et international, les ameliorer, explorer par ailleurs les formes alternatives de reglement de contentieux en matiere du patrimoine culturel detruit, vole ou pille.

Pour examiner cette hypothese, nous nous sommes pose les questions suivantes : Que signifie, dans la realite, la restitution et quelle est son importance pour le Benin ? Est-ce que le Benin remplit toutes les conditions necessaires pour l'effectivite de cette restitution ? Quel est le cadre juridique et legal qui favorise cette interaction entre le Benin et la France ? Quelle est l'efficacite des strategies et arguments mis en avant pour la restitution ? Quelle est la politique interne du Benin vis-a-vis de la protection et de la promotion de son patrimoine culturel ? Y-a-t-il une assurance que les reuvres restituees continueront a beneficier d'une protection et d'une promotion telles que definies par les conventions internationales ? Quel est le projet derriere la restitution et comment ce projet mettra-il en valeur ces reuvres ?

En tenant compte de cette hypothese et des questions de recherches ci-dessus formulees, nous avons adopte la methode qualitative de recherche conceptuelle et empirique. La recherche conceptuelle nous a permis, par une synthese documentaire, d'examiner le fait colonial et ses consequences liees a la deconstruction de l'identite culturelle des peuples colonises. Le meme type de synthese a permis de preciser les notions de patrimoine et de valeur. La recherche empirique qualitative quant a elle, nous a conduit a analyser les instruments juridiques nationaux au Benin qui ont favorise la spoliation et le pillage des reuvres d'art et qui pourraient contribuer a ralentir le processus en cours, ainsi que les conventions internationales telles que les conventions de Hague, de l'Unesco, de l'Unidroit et de l'ICOM afin de mieux apprehender les provisions legales pour la protection, la promotion et la resolution des contentieux en matiere du patrimoine culturel. Enfin, dans la perspective des debats en cours sur la demande de restitution des autorites beninoises, il nous a fallu conduire quelques interviews et des enquetes par questionnaire avec un echantillon representatif de differentes couches de la communaute beninoise. Dans certains cas, nous avons utilise les interviews disponibles dans des medias reconnus pour leur fiabilite et leur audience. Enfin nous avons fait des enquetes de terrain a travers des observations directes de quelques musees reconnus modernes en Occident a savoir le Museum Quarters de Vienne en Autriche et le Musee du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac de Paris en France.

Les resultats de nos recherches sont organises en trois parties :

La premiere partie justifie l'importance de la restitution des reuvres d'art pilles dans le processus de developpement actuel au Benin, en analysant les consequences du fait colonial sur la perte d'identite. En effet, la colonisation est une relation marquee par la domination qui limite l'auto-determination des peuples soumis a une heteronomie et forces a accepter et a s'adapter aux besoins et aux interets des envahisseurs appeles colons. Cette forme d'imperialisme s'etait manifestee de plusieurs manieres selon le pays envahisseur et le pays envahi. En Afrique generalement, c'etait d'abord les explorations, puis la mise en place des reuvres des missionnaires, de liens d'echanges commerciaux et apres la conquete militaire. Cette strategie est appelee le plan des 3M (Missionnaires-Marchands-Militaires).

En Afrique, la colonisation est liee au racisme parce que les colons se consideraient comme race superieure et voulait repandre une ideologie d'une civilisation eurocentrique. Ainsi la deconstruction de l'identite culturelle des peuples envahis fut un aspect important dans l'efficacite du processus colonial. Outre les nouvelles formes sociales imposees, de nombreuses reuvres d'art ont ete pillees. Ce genre de pillage a eu lieu non seulement pendant les conquetes coloniales mais a continue dans les Etats postcoloniaux. Louis Vassy2 fait observer une evolution inquietante des pillages des reuvres d'art au XXeme siecle. Selon Alain Godonou, ancien directeur de l'Ecole du Patrimoine Africain et actuellement fonctionnaire de l'UNESCO, pres de 95% du patrimoine africain a ete pille3. Le Mali qui represente la seconde reserve Culturelle apres l'Egypte a perdu plus de 45% de son patrimoine dans le pillage des sites archeologiques4. Sur le site de l'Interpol, il est ecrit que “le trafic des biens culturels est une forme de criminalite transnationale qui concerne les pays d'origine, de transit et de destination”. Des lors, non seulement le renforcement des mecanismes de protection et de promotion du patrimoine culturel est necessaire mais aussi la question de restitution des reuvres devient la juste procedure.

Il a donc fallu examiner la notion de restitution etroitement liee au pillage ou a la spoliation des reuvres culturelles. La mettre en relation avec des notions qui s'apparentent et qui sont souvent utilisees dans les contextes de reglement des contentieux en matiere de propriete culturelle. Les termes “ Retour”, “ Rapatriement”, “ Restitution” et “ Reparation” sont souvent interchangeables mais presentent quelques nuances selon le contexte et le mode de reglement du contentieux. Nous avons choisi la Convention 1995 de l'UNIDROIT en optant pour la definition de la restitution qui concerne la propriete culturelle volee et de “retour” qui concerne les reuvres culturelles illegalement exportees5. Les conventions de l'UNESCO 1970 et UNIDROIT 1995 sont en effet les plus importantes en termes de restitution des reuvres d'art. Cependant les Etats sont encourages a mettre en place des mecanismes juridiques propres. Par ailleurs, l'experience a prouve que l'efficacite et l'effectivite des processus de restitution sont dues a d'autres moyens alternatifs comme le role de mediation assigne au comite intergouvernemental de l'UNESCO pour la promotion du retour de propriete culturelle aux pays d'origine ou de leur Restitution en cas d'appropriation illicite. Il existe d'autres moyens alternatifs de restitution de contentieux en matiere de propriete culturelle qui ont produit des resultats. Par exemple, la Grande Bretagne a l'Ethiopie de Kebra Nagast ou “ Glory of Kings” qui represente l'origne de la dynastie royale d'Ethiopie6.

Dans la deuxieme partie, nous avons cherche a comprendre les enjeux que represente le processus de restitution actuellement en cours entre le Benin et la France. Pour ce faire, nous avons distingue deux periodes pendant lesquelles les pillages et le vol massif des reuvres d'art ont eu lieu.

Premierement entre 1892 et 1960, c'est-a-dire du debut a la fin de la colonisation. Les acteurs principaux du pillage sont, entre autres, les militaires et d'autres administrateurs coloniaux. Pour preuve, les reuvres d'art du Benin retrouvees au musee du quai Branly sont marques comme dons du general Dodds du nom de celui qui a conduit les operations militaires qui firent tomber l'ex royaume du Danxome sous le protectorat fran^ais.

La deuxieme periode est celle postcoloniale ou est le vaste marche illicite des reuvres culturelles fait objet de beaucoup de pertes. C'est pour cela que beaucoup de mecanismes juridiques internationaux comme ceux d'INTERPOL, de l'UNESCO, de l'ICOM, de l'Organisation Mondiale de la Douane, pour ne citer que ceux-la, ont ete institues pour proteger le patrimoine culturel du monde entier. Selon l'Unesco, plus de 6000 reuvres d'art du Benin sont hors du territoire national et se retrouvent illegalement ou dans des conditions douteuses dans les musees et collections privees a travers le monde. Les recherches ont demontre que ce pillage excessif du patrimoine culturel beninois est du non seulement a la colonisation mais aussi a la faiblesse ou a la non-existence d'instruments juridiques et de mecanismes appropries de protection et de securite des objets d'art.

Somme toute, le Benin dispose d'une charte culturelle qui fait office de politique culturelle nationale avec d'autres legislations et institutions mais qui manquent de coherence vis-a-vis des instruments qui l'accompagnent. Le Benin a ratifie a ce jour toutes les conventions de l'UNESCO en matiere de protection du patrimoine; seulement il reste la convention UNIDROIT de 1995 qui est l'instrument juridique le plus efficace en matiere de resolution de conflit et de restitution des objets d'arts aux pays sources. Cette faiblesse juridique risque de bloquer ou de ralentir considerablement le processus de restitution actuel en cours et oblige le pays a privilegier la negociation et la diplomatie dans le processus de plaidoyer.

La troisieme et derniere partie de notre memoire aborde justement les strategies de plaidoyer et de management a mettre en place pour accelerer le processus de la restitution des reuvres et aussi les mecanismes modernes a initier pour la protection physique et juridique des reuvres, leur accessibilite et la transmission, conditions exigees par le Conseil International des Musees (ICOM) des pays demandeurs de restitution des reuvres. Les resultats de nos recherches montrent la delicatesse de la restitution a l'etape actuelle. Pour ce faire, nous avons examine et analyse la strategie du Benin en termes de negociation et de plaidoyer pour la restitution effective des reuvres d'art.

En effet, des la demande officielle de restitution formulee par le gouvernement beninois, beaucoup de rencontres et de negociations ont eu lieu au sommet de la diplomatie et avec des missions techniques a l'Unesco avec souvent la presence effective du president de la Republique. Ensuite un projet de construction de six (6) musees modernes est lance avec collaboration entre architectes beninois et fran^ais. L'autre action c'est la mise sur pieds le 12 septembre 2018 d'une commission speciale qui a pour mission d'identifier des modalites de collaboration museale avec la France et la restitution effective des reuvres. Ces actions repondent a des demarches necessaires dans le processus de restitution. Il n'en demeure pas moins que beaucoup plus d'efforts doivent etre fournis. Nous avons identifie comme priorite l'amelioration du cadre juridique national et une adhesion methodique a la Convention 1995 Unidroit qui garantit la protection et la restitution.

L'enquete aupres d'une partie des citoyens revelent que des professionnels, des experts, des jeunes, les chefs traditionnels et meme les medias beninois ne sont pas suffisamment impliques dans le processus de restitution alors que la definition meme du patrimoine culturel a rapport direct au peuple, aux collectivites et communautes. Nous proposons donc leur participation dans les strategies de plaidoyer avec une dissemination reguliere de l'information concernant les actions dans le cadre de la restitution. Une autre recommandation est la mise en place d'un plan de restitution a trois etapes : prets, la copropriete et enfin la restitution elle-meme deroulee sous la forme de don. Vu le niveau des infrastructures, le niveau du professionalisme dans la gestion du patrimoine culturel et l'experience des frequentations des musees, il urge de prendre le temps necessaire afin d'assurer le renforcement des capacites des institutions museales aussi bien des professionnels exer^ant dans les secteurs du patrimoine. Il faut aussi faire des recherches approfondies pour elaborer l'inventaire et la cartographie du patrimoine culturel du Benin. Un accent particulier doit etre mis sur la formation des gestionnaires du patrimoine et une collaboration museale etendue a l'Afrique (Afrique du Sud, Egypte, Kenya, Mali) et aux pays du monde entier dont la France.

En ce qui concerne la gestion du patrimoine culturel du Benin, nous proposons a l'Etat de reflechir a une gestion deleguee des institutions museales comme c'est le cas pour le Parc animalier de Pendjari assorti d'un transfert de competences. Une autre recommandation est la mise sur pied d'une force speciale de protection et de securite du patrimoine avec un accent particulier sur la lutte contre le trafic illicite. Cette unite de protection doit etre composee de la police, de la douane et des professionnels du patrimoine. Aussi, pensons-nous que le projet de construction de 6 musees s'apparente a un projet de vanite et qu'il faut en construire un qui reponde aux exigences internationales avec l'amelioration de l'accessibilite et de l'attractivite sans toutefois les ecarter de l'identite culturelle du peuple beninois. La plus grande priorite doit aller au renforcement des capacites des institutions actuelles et des professionnels surtout a travers des partenariats et de collaborations museales etendues.

En guise de conclusion, le Benin entame une etape de reconstruction d'identite culturelle et de developpement de tourisme culturel a travers le projet de restitution des reuvres culturelles. Cependant il est necessaire d'engager des reflexions profondes avec les acteurs du patrimoine culturel afin d'ameliorer les instruments juridiques nationaux et repondre aux exigences internationales. Non seulement ces reuvres doivent recouvrer toute leur valeur artistique, symbolique, spirituelle, historique et scientifique mais aussi monetaire pour participer au developpement economique du pays. Il est necessaire d'adopter une approche purement professionnelle et impartiale dans le processus de restitution car avec l'emotion, on risque de passer a cote de l'essentiel. Les memes causes produisant les memes effets, le Benin risque de se retrouver dans la visee du reseau du marche illicite au lendemain d'une restitution precipitee, mal conduite et trop vite conclue.

I. INTRODUCTION

Colonialization/colonialism7 has transformed and displaced many things in the lives of many people around the world and particularly in Africa. Through this process, traditions, beliefs and cultural standards were put in question and people were forced to accept new ways of life. Displacement, distortion, disintegration, identity deconstruction of the traditional and indigenous people and cultures were the main consequences. Thus, the European imperialism of the 1400s in many African societies had an enormous impact on the institutions, practices and patrimony of African people. In particular, the former kingdom of Danxome, current Republic of Benin faced serious damages from French imperialistic approach.

On 17th November 1892, the French army defeated the army of the resistant king Gbehanzin of the former Kingdom of Danxome8, current Republic of Benin. The king was banned and taken into French-imposed exile. That marked the end of one of the richest African histories of 300 years of monarchy and with unique oral artistic and cultural legacy. French flag has been hanged at the heart of royal palace of the kingdom. Danxome was proclaimed a French protectorate and by the end of 1897, the French controlled the entirely territory of the present-day Republic of Benin, which they called the colony of Dahomey. A French powerful governor was appointed with an administration in the middle of the former Kingdom's palaces. As modus operandi, the France considered “Dahomeyan” culture to be uncivilized; they attempted to force indigenous people to abandon their own culture, roots and to embrace the civilization of Christian Europe and adopt French language. In addition, valuable objects, artifacts, heritage and symbols of indigenous people were destroyed, looted and stolen until 1960 when the country acquired its independence from France, even beyond.

According to UNESCO more than 6000 art pieces9 were looted by French army , missions and collaborators and ended up in French museums and private collections. Commissioned by the royal court of former Kingdom of Danxome, those arts - intricate wood and ivory carvings, metalwork and applique cloth- stood as potent symbol of the kingdom's might. Mainly exhibited in the Quai Branly museum in Paris, the artefacts represent the history, the religion, the power and the spirit of now day Republic of Benin. It is also an important part of the Benin people cultural heritage and key aspects as it is the mirror of a country's history and represents, not only the specific values and traditions but also a very unique way a people perceives the world (UN Supra Note). As such , cultural heritage cannot be separated from its human life and more especially from its origin because it acquires its full quintessence and values in the place and with people of its origin.

This justifies why after former colonies gained their freedom as independent states in the years 1960, the process of recovering has begun and most especially a quest for identity became priority issue. One of the aspects of it , it is the claim for restitution of looted cultural properties today held in the most prestigious western museums. This master thesis focuses on the current debates around the restitution of artifacts from the Republic of Benin that were looted during the invasion by French imperialistic army and beyond and questions whether the Benin has met all the requirements to guarantee the protection, security, accessibility and transmission once they are returned.

The relevance of this thesis lies first in the importance of a country to recover its cultural property but also in the ongoing discussions around the restitution of Benin cultural heritage between Benin and France. On 26th August 2016, the Benin government formulated an official claim for the restitution of its looted cultural property and artifacts held in French museums and private collections.

On the 8th of March 2017, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied a possibility of cultural heritage restitution arguing the artifacts now belong to France according to national legal regulation against non-alienation of French Patrimony. Later, on 28 November 2017, the newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron during a trip in Burkina-Faso, declared '“African heritage can't just be in European private collections and museums ... African heritage must be highlighted in Paris, but also in Dakar, in Lagos, in Cotonou.” He added “Over the nextfive years, the conditions must be met ‘for the temporary or permanent restitution of African heritage to Africa”10. In March 2018, a committee is established by the French government to study the possibilities and strategies of restitution of the African heritage in French Museum. The output of this committee's work is expected for November 2018. From Benin's side and on 12th September 2018, a Working committee was established to define with France the framework of partnership and the methods of circulation and restitution of the Benin artifacts in Benin. Another part of their mission is to agree on the modalities for producing a comprehensive inventory of the Benin cultural property in the French museums and private collections. Are these efficient action towards the effective restitution or how can we improve these strategies ?

1. Research Questions and Methodology

The thesis is developed in line with the current debates surrounding the demand of restitution of cultural property by the Republic of Benin to France. This involves many legal aspects as well as historical and cultural studies. My goal is then to explore the circumstances in which the claimed- artifacts were taken from Benin and the ethical concerns of looting a country's cultural heritage. What are the cultural consequences of colonialization in Africa and particularly in Benin? What does restitution mean and how does it help address cultural consequences of colonialization? What are the main national and international legal frameworks and instruments related to the protection and restitution of cultural property? What does the restitution mean and how important it is for Benin? Does the country fulfil all the requirements to make the restitution effective and protect its cultural property? What's the country's cultural policy in relation to cultural heritage protection and promotion? What's the project behind the restitution claim and how will it more valorize the artifacts?

Based on the above questions, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H0: The simple restitution claim by Benin government and the French willingness to collaborate are not enough to make effective the restitution. There is a need to go beyond and examine appropriate national and international legal frameworks and instruments and as well as to take steps to enact domestic cultural property specific legislations and instruments.

There are three specific hypotheses that support the above main hypothesis and will lead our research methodology:

H1: Although Benin government may have a strong ethical and political case for the restitution, the legal case is very weak regarding both domestic and international legislations

H2: The restitution will only be possible if a clear and coherent advocacy strategy based on diplomacy and other alternative means of conflict resolution is used

H3: The Benin current cultural heritage protection and promotion policy doesn't guarantee a safe protection and a good management of its cultural heritage. There is a need to improve the legal and technical conditions for receiving and safeguarding the heritage

The aim of this thesis is to extensively and analytically explore the arguments for the restitution of Benin cultural heritage in order to provide a clear advocacy strategy for an effective restitution and suggest coherent mechanisms and innovative approaches to cultural heritage management in Benin.

The thesis adopted a deductive applied social research methodology with external links to history, legal, sociological approaches as well as strategic management in culture. As such, it involves review and critical analysis of relevant literatures, legislations, policy documents, reports of international organizations and intergovernmental committees relating to colonialization theory, to the return and restitution of cultural property.

In finding answers to the questions and testing our hypothesis, I adopted the following methods: Firstly, we examine and critically analysis the various data including Benin cultural policy with provisions on protecting cultural heritage and/or cultural heritage legislations. Then we had a look at international legal frameworks and instruments such as:

- 1954 Hague convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of Armed conflict and its different protocols.
- UNESCO Conventions
- UNIDROIT Convention

While some other conventions and instruments may be referred to, this thesis however is focused on the critical review and evaluation of Benin cultural policy and its participation to major conventions such as Unesco and Unidroit.

Secondly we conducted semi-structured interviews and used some of relevant available interviews from trustful sources based on the reliability and audience. This includes heritage professionals, cultural workers, youth organizations, traditional leaders, politicians, researchers , media professionals and journalists, tourism agents because I think their voices were missing in the ongoing debates.

- Sonounameto Expedit, traditional chief and dignitary
- Osseni Souberou , Heritage Management officer
- Carole Lokossou, artist and cultural manager
- Janvier Houlonon, Artist, Tour guide
- Rachelle Agbossou, Artist and Cultural Entrepreneur
- Carolle Adande, Journalist
- Patrice Toton, Artist and Festival director
- Souleyman Laly, Jurist and Artist
- Adebayo Farid, Artist
- Ramanou Aledji, artist designer
- Giovanni Houansou, Artist and cultural activist
- Arcade Assogba, filmmaker and tourist professional
- Donatien Glagozoun, artist comedian and cultural manager
- Adeossi Isai'e, Cultural activist and communication expert
- Esckil Agbo, Art journalist and festival promoter
- Henri Morgan, Art Journalist and cultural activist
- Rodrigue Gotovi, Cultural manager and festival director
- Eric Azaney, Journalist
- Rosine Kededji, Communication Specialist
- Yredee Challa, Language teacher and Cultural promoter
- Pacome Allomakpe, Heritage Professional.

The interview was conducted based on five (5) key questions:

1- What's the relevance of the restitution claim of the Benin artifacts?
2- What is better approach between legal conflict resolution and diplomatic negotiation?
3- Do you think Benin has the required capacities to protect and promote those artworks?
4- Which innovation would you like to see in terms of heritage and museum management in Benin?
5- How do you appreciate the involvement of professional association in the restitution process?

Besides the interviews I personally conducted, I had found and used different interviews relevant to the thesis. These include interviews :

- Ousmane Aledji , Cultural expert and M&E Unit at the presidency of Republic of Benin
- Marie-Cecile Zinsou Founding Director of sFoundation Zinsou Museum
- Alain Godonou , Former director of African Heritage School and Unesco official.
- George Abungu , Heritage consultant, ICOM former director.
- Stephan Martin , Director of Quai Branly Museum.
- Felwine Sarr , Professor and expert hired by French president for research and recommendations for restitution of African cultural heritage in France.

Lastly, I conducted some field work through direct observation of some museums such as Museums Quarters in Vienna, Austria and Musee de Quai Branly in Paris, France. The observation criteria include museum accessibility, architecture , exhibitions types ( temporary, permanent, installations or live performance) , parallel activities, level of use of technologies and multimedia , price/cost, audiences clusters, facilities i.e library, souvenir shop, beverage, food, public sittings, marketing strategies ( branding, discounts, brochures, partnerships with other museums and overall attractiveness of the museum.

II. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

1. Colonialization

a. Background

Often, when referred to colonialization , it is defined as forceful occupation of imperialistic army and the exploitation of countries and peoples by colonial force. Many studies have focused on economic exploitation by the European colonialism in Africa. For the purpose of this thesis, before we go deep into the theory of colonialization, I would first like to look into the antecedents of colonialism. In 1095 , Pope Urban II appealed to Christians to defend the Eastern Orthodox Christians against Muslims and to liberate Jerusalem from Islamic practice. The agenda was to save and to consolidate the Catholic Church's hegemony as the most powerful and wealthiest institution in the world. This turned into a series of religious wars where Muslims were killed and provided the Europeans an opportunity for personal wealth and glory by stealing and looting the Muslims' treasures. It was named Crusades against Muslims and the main motives were the desire for power, wealth, spiritual salvation, personal glory and especially a need to build solid European identities against any external and convenient enemy. The crusades helped to unify the Europeans with the myth of superior race and named it a “ Just war on behalf of God”.11

The second antecedent to colonialization I found worth was the colonization of Americas. In 1607, the English and the Scots through the claims of being superior race and religion took over Americas for material exploitation , cultural domination and self-aggrandizement12. The distinction between Europeans and non-Europeans became more visible and provoked maximum violence including genocide to use their superiority for the gold, silver and other commodities exploitation as well as sexual exploitation and the deconstruction of identities, knowledge systems and indigenous religions in the Americas.

The third antecedent to colonialization is the African slave trade. This was fueled by the colonialization of Americas through the capture, transportation and the enslavement of Africans in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Atlantic Trade Slave is known to be the largest importation of slaves in the world history. This particular slavery caused immense suffering to African people , depopulated the African continent and distorted the political order and weakened the economic development by stealing and taking away the most valuable and productive young people. Through the slavery the Europeans expanded their settlements in new worlds and got more wealthy in order to finance their industrial revolution and consolidate the dominant-dominated relations between Europeans and non-Europeans. The Atlantic Slave Trade helped to satisfy various motives and greeds: greed for material possession and consumption combined with racism and self­aggrandizement. These were the same motives with the Crusades.

The Atlantic Slave Trade therefore intensified the mix of different motives—greed for material possession and consumption, combined with racism and self-aggrandizement—that began with the Crusades. Slavery ended when it was found to no longer be economically productive because the industrial revolution made it inefficient and unnecessary but also because many resistance movements that were observed all over. Nevertheless the European greed for profit, cultural domination, racism and self- aggrandizement continued and took a new form: colonialization. While there are many discussions around the start of colonization , 1415 was the year in which Portuguese troops conquered for the first time a city out of Europe, the city of Ceuta in North Africa. The conquerors' goal was to engage with force in lucrative goal and slave trade through the West African Sahara.

b. Classic Colonialization

Based on an assumed-priority, the European from a colonial rule perspective placed themselves above other states and their population through exploitation and oppression. Colonialization is defined as a relationship marked by domination between , in which the colonized are limited in their self-determination, are subject to heteronomy and forced to adopt to the needs and interest of the colonizers , especially as far as of politics and economics aspects are concerned. The colonialization doesn't accept nor accommodate anything from the societies they subjugated , either politically or culturally or to adapt to local circumstances13. The strategy used by colonial rule was defined as 3M14. Colonialization began with missionary work, exploitation through the establishment of trade links and then militarization to keep the colonized under control and silent. There were various ways of manifestations of the colonialisation and these included “ trade and

[...]


1 Le Patrimoine Culturel de l'Humanite : Une responsabilite Commune. Une etude de la Division du Patrimoine Culturel de l'Unesco, Mai 1982

2 Louis Vassy, du mystere des reuvres d’art volees, the Huffington post, Le Traffic International d'Objets d'Arts https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/ieanjacques-neuer/trafic-obiets-d-art b 1810155.html accede le 10 Octobre 2018.

3 Ibid

4 Issu de /'article de Philippe Baque, Enquete sur le pillage des objets d'art, Le Monde diplomatique, janvier fevrier 2005.

5 UNIDROIT Convention

6 Pankhust, R. 1986. Restitution of Cultural Property: The Case of Ethiopia. Museum. 149: 58-59

7 In this master thesis, we refer to colonialization and colonialism as interchangeable theories.

8 The Kingdom of Dahomey was an African kingdom that existedfrom about 1600 until 1894, when the last king, Behanzin, was defeated by the French

9 Unesco Courier, October 1959 issue http://unesdoc.unesco. org/images/0006/000666/066613eo.pdf Accessed on 14 September 2018

10 Art forum bloghttps://www.artforum.com/news/french-president-hires-experts-to-make-plans-for-repatriation-of-artifacts- 74532 Accessed 15 September 2018.

11 Journal of Social and Political Psychology , 2015, Vol. 3(1)

12

Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America. Nepantla: Views from South, 1, 533-580.

13 According to Ostenhammeland Jansen 2017, Germany.

14 3M stands for Missionaires- Marchands- Militaires in French.

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Details

Title
Making the Restitution of Benin Cultural Heritage Effective. Advocacy and Management Strategies
College
University of Lyon 2  (Institut de la Communication)
Course
Cultural Policy and Management
Grade
10
Author
Year
2018
Pages
80
Catalog Number
V500547
ISBN (eBook)
9783346077271
Language
English
Notes
Excellent master's essay according to the Supervisor with a mark of 10/10
Tags
making, restitution, benin, cultural, heritage, effective, advocacy, management, strategies
Quote paper
Espéra Donouvossi (Author), 2018, Making the Restitution of Benin Cultural Heritage Effective. Advocacy and Management Strategies, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/500547

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