The Ato ceremony of the Kingdom of Dahomey, circa 1934.
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Experts appointed by President Emmanuel Macron will advise him Friday to allow the return of thousands of African artworks held in French museums, a radical shift in policy which could put pressure on other former colonial powers. Calls have been growing in Africa for the restitution of their cultural treasures, but French law strictly forbids the government from ceding state property, even in well-documented cases of pillaging. Of the estimated 90,000 African artworks in French museum collections, around 70,000 are at Paris' Quai Branly museum, created by ex-president Jacques Chirac, a keen admirer of African and Asian arts.The London museum has held the Hoa Hakananai'a, one of the most spiritually important of the Chilean island's stone monoliths, for 150 years.
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