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Oxford University restores Maasai artefacts

Men with spears come to the dreaming spire

In the oak-panelled Bookbinders Ale House, a group of Maasai tribespeople gathers the day before returning to Tanzania and Kenya, to sip cappuccinos and bitter and to chew over the results of a two-week visit to Oxford. Despite the vile February weather, they are satisfied with their trip, for they are closer to getting back sacred objects that are held by Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum.

Former colonial powers have tended to take a defensive attitude to requests from formerly subject peoples for the return of objects that may have been stolen. In Britain, France and elsewhere, laws prevent museums from letting stuff go.

But in 2017, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said that he wanted to see the return of pilfered artefacts to Africa within five years. …View full article on economist.com

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