Benin’s new museum for artifacts looted by France is being built using a French loan

The construction of a new museum in Benin, which is slated to house 26 artifacts looted by France in the colonial era, will be funded by a French loan.

The French Development Agency, the development arm of the French government, will lend 20 million euros (or $22.5 Million) to the West African country to help fund the new museum in the southern city of Abomey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The move comes nine months after the release of a report—commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron, and conducted by French art historian, Bénédicte Savoy, and Senegalese writer, Felwine Sarr—which recommended objects seized by France during the colonial era be returned to their countries of origin, once the country asks for them. The 26 artifacts, which include statutes and thrones looted by French troops during a military raid against the once powerful West African Kingdom of Dahomey in 1892, are among some of the 5,000 artifacts requested from France by Benin.

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