Retrieving Cultural Artifacts : Patrimony On The Limelight

This was during a conference that took place in the university of Douala on January 29, 2024.


German museums hold 40,000 artifacts from Cameroon, more than any other museum collection worldwide, including the state collections of Cameroon's capital Yaounde, according to a new study carried out by Bénédicte Savoy and Albert Gouaffo, Professors at the Technische Universität in Berlin and the University of Dschang in Cameroon, respectively.
The study, titled “Atlas der Abwesenheit”, or Atlas of Absence, was carried out over two years by researchers from Germany and Cameroon and with the support of curators across 45 German museums. The prodigious number of Cameroonian heritage objects in German museums, a startling figure compared to the 6,000 objects in possession of Cameroonian museums, are mostly in storage. The study excluded items in private collections, natural history museums, and archaeological findings in museums of prehistory.
With this background, the French Institute of Cameroon, Douala antenna, on Monday January 29, organized a conference themed "Absence, colonial violence and reconnections: what future for the Cameroonian cultural heritage accumulated in the museums of Germany (among others)”. The conference was also an opportunity for the presentation of findings carried out by researchers. From the different speakers, it came to the limelight that a good number of Cultural Artifacts from Cameroon (more than 40,000) were found in museums in Germany only and many more in other parts of the western world.  More so, "Cameroonians sometimes have to pay to have access to these articles that were stolen and taken abroad", decried one of the speakers. 
One of the panellists, Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III, regretted that the education system in Cameroon is doing very little to promote Cultural Patrimony.  He said many books writt...

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