France has handed back 26 treasures that were looted from Benin during the colonial period, fulfilling a promise made by President Emmanuel Macron to restore a lost part of Africa’s heritage.
Benin President Patrice Talon and Culture Minister Jean-Michel Abimbola travelled to Paris to bring home the artefacts that were snatched by French forces 130 years ago.
Talon said he felt “overwhelming emotion” at recovering the objects taken during the ransacking of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the south of present-day Benin, including a royal throne.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the presidential palace in Paris, where France signed over the artefacts to Benin, Talon said the treasures were much more than cultural goods – the term used by France to describe them.
Veronic Njie has the details.