President of the Musee du Quai Branly, Stephane Martin, poses for pictures in the museum in Paris, July 05, 2006.
AFP / Joel Saget
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The head of France's greatest collection of African art has hit back at a report urging the return of thousands of artworks to the countries from which they were taken. Stephane Martin, of the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris told AFP Tuesday the report had tainted "everything that was collected and bought during the colonial period with the impurity of the colonial crime". His comments come days after a report by French and African specialists commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron urged the return of thousands of artworks in a radical shift of policy.Martin argued that the French presidency is unlikely to back massive restitution of African artworks.
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