The Repatriation of Colonial Artefacts in a Post-Colonial World
The Cameroonian sculpture, the Bangwa Queen, originally known as Njuindem, was taken from the Bangwa community and arrived in Berlin in 1899. It was the coloniser Gustav Conrau who brought the sacred sculpture to the Ethnological Museum. Njuindem has been reinterpreted within the Western context as she has been in exhibitions, private collections and museums in Europe and the United States of America. This thesis aims to look at the research question; “How do the economic, cultural and aesthetic values ascribed by Post-Colonial Europe, affect the debate and return of the Cameroonian sculpture, the Bangwa Queen?” This thesis examines four main crucial aspects, as although the sculpture has been reinterpreted there has been room for misinterpretation. Because the sculpture has been embedded in colonial relations, laws and policies, responsibilities need to be reconsidered within post-colonial relations. This thesis will explore what this means for indigenous identity, history and knowledge.
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