22 – 24 August 2023, (Accra, Ghana) – PALU participated in a three-day summit, hosted by the Culture and Art program of the Open Society Foundations. The convening brought together speakers and attendees who included leaders and other representatives from the African Union, ECOWAS, NGOs, UN agencies, philanthropies, academia, creative communities, civil societies, and the African diaspora.
The objective of the convening was to encourage, inspire, and spark collaboration among regional organizations, cultural leaders, artists, activists, and community members toward building more successful, meaningful, and impactful restitution initiatives. The final goal was to ultimately build and strengthen a community of global allies, who will work towards the sustainability and the scaled infrastructure of the restitution movement.
PALU has been involved in various projects that focus on the restitution of African artifacts the most recent being the dissemination of papers focusing on how litigation can be used as a tool for recovery of artifacts that are still held illegally by former colonial masters and other parties. This was also discussed extensively during the PALU's Annual Conference held in Livingstone, Zambia in early July 2023, calling for the immediate and unconditional return of the artifacts to their origins.
Building upon this PALU represented by our CEO Donald Deya contributed to a topic titled, Local and National Power Relations: Ownership, Conditionality, and Legal Barriers on Cultural Heritage. Mr. Deya she light on complexities brought about by Intersectionality, multiple actors, institutions, dynamics, and controversies at multiple levels. He also touched on what more needed to be done, to solve the crisis the Continent currently faces in realizing the restitution of African Artefacts. He implored the participants to engage in a much broader discussion involving all actors, which could then be encapsulated into, new understandings, new social contracts, and/ or new laws.
Photo Courtesy of BBC News