News / 

African treasures held

Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

London (dpa) - The British Museum is to return treasures collected in colonial times to Kenya to be shown at a special exhibition in Nairobi next spring, Britain's Independent newspaper reported Wednesday.

In what is described as a groundbreaking deal, 140 items from the Museum's 12,000-strong eastern Africa collection will be sent to Nairobi.

The wooden sculptures, beaded jewellery and masks were chosen from the collection by Kenyan curator Kiprop Lagat, who was invited to London to inspect the treasures held by the British Museum.

"There are things here I hadn't seen before, things that were collected in Kenya", Lagat told the Independent. "It was very exciting."

The unprecedented collaboration agreed between the National Museums of Kenya and the British Museum was praised by Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum.

"We hope it will be a model for the future. The British Museum is committed to developing these kinds of collaborations across the world to generate a deeper understanding of a global citizenship."

With increasing numbers of claims for the restitution of cultural objects to the Third World, the museum has been rethinking its role to emphasise that it holds such heritage in trust, said the Independent.

The new approach means there will be more loans and exhibitions, as well as training programmes for curators and support for conservation and research.

Farah Idle, director general of the National Museums of Kenya, said the deal was "an important stepping stone" which would help build a sustainable museum sector in Africa.

"Rather than view the collections as belonging to one institution, the museum community should instead consider them as global heritage. This is the future for collaboration", he said.

Copyright 2005 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast