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Half-man, half-beast, the tall African statues dominate a busy gallery in Paris' Quai Branly Museum.From London to Berlin, Europe's museums are packed with hundreds of thousands of colonial-era items.In Africa, a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron has spurred hope that things may be about to change. "Africa's heritage cannot just be in European private collections and museums," Macron said in Burkina Faso in November.He charged two experts with working out how to give African artifacts back within five years, prompting speculation that museums across Europe could be pressured to follow suit.European and U.S. museums have also been meeting with Nigerian officials since 2007 seeking a solution for the Benin bronzes, but with few results.For want of better solutions, many museums are simply trying to approach the issue more sensitively.Hamburg's MKG museum is running an exhibition that focuses not so much on its three Benin bronzes, but the fact that they were looted.
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