Africa Senegal West Africa World 

France returns 19th century sword to Senegal

France has returned to Senegal a historical sword taken from the country many years ago.

The sabre, is a type of backsword with a curved blade. It belonged to an Islamic ruler in Senegal.

Owned by a 19th Century Islamic scholar and ruler the sword had been in a French museum until now.

France said the return of the artifact was part of a commitment to return to its former West African colonies significant items of their cultural heritage.

A ceremony took place in Senegal’s capital Dakar where the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe handed over the sword in its leather sheath to Senegal’s President Macky Sall.

The revered West African leader Umar Saidou Tall, who was the original owner of the sword led an anti-colonial struggle against the French.

Some of his descendants were present at the ceremony to hand over the sword.

Return of stolen artifacts

During the years of slavery and subsequent colonization, many artifacts belonging to many African countries were wrongly taken and in some instances stolen.

Some of these artifacts are now all over museums across Europe and America, with push for their return hardly yielding any results.

But the advocacy and campaign to have these artifacts returned has been reignited again.

In August this year, the Liberian government also announced its resolve to keep pushing for all stolen artifacts from Africa which are currently dotted across Europe and America to be returned.

Liberia’s vice president, Jewel Taylor told DW that “Why should our children go to New York or Washington DC or Paris to see artifacts that actually belong to us?”

Authorities in the United States of America in September also returned a stolen ancient coffin to Egypt in September this year.

The stolen coffin dates back to the 1st Century BC. It was bought for $4m from a Parisian art dealer.

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