France returns the historical sword to Senegal which stolen in the 19th century.
They are returning a sword that belonged to a 19th-century Islamic scholar and ruler in Senegal. This is part of France’s commitment to return stolen artifacts during colonial times.
The return of the historical sword from France
In a ceremony in Dakar on Sunday. The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe handed over the brass and wood saber to Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
Omar Saidou Tall the original owner of the sword, was a West African ruler who led an anti-colonial struggle against the French in the 1850s.
He eventually signed a peace treaty with France in 1860. According to French historian, Jean Surete-Canele. Saidou Tall died of gunpowder explosion in 1864.
Following his death, his sword and books from his library were captured by France.
The French Prime minister that this was only the first step. Giving back Saidou Tall’s saber was only the beginning there are more African artifacts that are currently in French museums.
For Senegal, this was truly a historic day. Local media reported that Tall’s descendants were present during the handing over of the sword.
A report commissioned by the French President in November 2018 that the art from sub-Saharan Africa era is to be returned
According to the report, French museums house at least 90,000 pieces originally from sub-Saharan Africa with at least 70,000 works in Paris’ Quai Branly museum alone.