Catherine Colonna, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture, received Jean-Luc Martinez, Ambassador for International Cooperation in the Field of Heritage and Honorary President and CEO of the Louvre, who submitted to them the report commissioned by the President of the Republic in order to prepare the outlines of a framework law on the restitution to their country of origin of cultural property belonging to the French public collections , which, in the current state of law, are inalienable and may be returned only on the basis of a special law.
This report, entitled Shared heritage: universality, restitution and circulation of works of art, proposes a doctrine and method for reviewing and processing restitution requests.
It is part of the dynamic launched by the President of the Republic during his speech in Ouagadougou in 2017 calling for the possibility of restoring African cultural property and strengthening cultural partnerships between France and Africa. Since 2017, France has made its heritage and museum cooperation with the countries of the African continent one of its priorities, in close coordination between the embassies and the services and operators of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.
This report also follows the publication in 2018 of the Restoring African heritage » by Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr and at the vote by the Parliament of the 2020 law authorizing the restitution of cultural property in Senegal and Benin.
The main recommendations of Mr. Martinez’s report are:
This report will serve as a basis for consultation with parliamentarians with a view to preparing a framework bill to be submitted to Parliament in the coming months.
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