The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Sunday, May 16, 2021

Congo activist fined for snatching 'looted' Paris museum artefact
The Congolese activist Mwazulu Diyabanza in Paris, Sept. 4, 2020. Diyabanza will appear in a Paris court this month after he tried to make off with an African treasure he says was looted — France and its attitude to the colonial past will be on trial, too. Elliott Verdier/The New York Times.

PARIS (AFP).- A Congolese activist who snatched an African artefact from a French museum to protest the looting of art during colonial times received a 1,000-euro fine for theft from a Paris court on Wednesday.

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza grabbed a 19th century Chadian funerary post during a tour of the Quai Branly museum in Paris on June 12

Shouting "we're bringing it home" he then made for the exit with four other members of an association that campaigns for the return of stolen African art before being stopped by guards.

The protest, which one of the activists filmed and live-streamed on Facebook, was the first in a series by Diyabanza who has since snatched African artefacts in museums in the Netherlands and in the French port of Marseille.

He faces court cases in those cities too.

Wednesday's hearing came a week after French lawmakers voted to return prized artefacts to Benin and Senegal more than a century after they were looted by colonial forces and hauled back to Paris to be displayed in museums.

Benin will recover the throne of its 19th-century King Glele -- a centrepiece of the 70,000-odd African items held at the Quai Branly museum, which showcases indigenous art.

Senegal, meanwhile, will get back a sword and scabbard said to have belonged to Omar Saidou Tall, an important 19th century military and religious figure.

African leaders and activists have called on President Emmanuel Macron's government to go further and return more items.

Announcing plans to appeal his fine, Diyabanza told reporters after Wednesday's hearing that the "judges of a corrupt government" had no moral right to prevent him "going to get what belongs to us".

"We will continue the fight with whatever means we have," he said.

Three of the activists who accompanied him to Quai Branly museum received suspended fines of 250 euros ($294), 750 euros ($589) and 1,000 euros ($1,177).

A fourth was cleared of the charges.

90,000 African objects
The judge acknowledged that their actions were "activist" in nature but said he was fining them to "discourage" further such stunts.

"You have other ways of drawing the attention of politicians and the public" to the issue of colonial cultural theft, he said.

An expert report commissioned by Macron in 2018 counted some 90,000 African works in French museums, most of them at the Quai Branly.

Britain has also faced calls to return artefacts, notably the Elgin Marbles to Greece and the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.

Museums in Belgium and Austria also house tens of thousands of African pieces.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

October 15, 2020

Lark Mason Associates announces Fall Sale of Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works

Exhibition of photographs by Lionel Delevingne opens at the Stockbridge Station Gallery

William Shakespeare's 'First Folio' sets world auction record for any work of literature - $9.9M at Christie's

Simone Leigh is first Black woman to represent U.S. at Venice Biennale

Städel Museum announces acquisition of Max Beckmann's "Self-Portrait with Champagne Glass"

How a Medusa sculpture from a decade ago became #MeToo art

Major Thomas Cole painting gifted to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Nationalmuseum acquires portraits of women painters

Pace Gallery announces David Byrne online charity exhibition to promote unity in lead-up to US election

Exhibition at Nailya Alexander Gallery focuses on artistic representations of early Soviet aviation

Congo activist fined for snatching 'looted' Paris museum artefact

Sydney Modern Project, expansion by SANAA, to transform Art Gallery of New South Wales

Siberia's treasured wooden houses face uncertain future

Building a personal smell museum of Los Angeles

Magical masterpiece leads Bonhams Orientalist art sale in London

PM/AM opens an exhibition of works by Anthony Miler

The Old Windermere Fire Station transformed into a Museum of... anything you can imagine!

Socrates Director to step down in coming year

Herbert Kretzmer, lyricist for 'Les Misérables,' dies at 95

Pirelli HangarBicocca opens a retrospective exhibition devoted to Chen Zhen

Is it streetwear or is it art?

Exhibition brings together paintings by Enoc Perez and photographs by Brigitte Schindler and Carlo Mollino

Exhibition of new works by Richard Tuttle on view at Modern Art

The Winter Visual Arts Building opens at Franklin & Marshall College

5 Popular Casino Games Ranked From Easiest To Most Challenging

The Positives of Live Streaming for Schools

All that You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment

Pop up and go - 7 advantages of Pop-up Display

Things You Should Know To Become A Real Estate Agent

5 extraordinary advantages of New York Construction Accident Attorneys

A Beginner's Guide to Mailing Envelopes and Shipping Boxes

What should you consider when buying Chapel chairs?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful