Posted on December 29, 2020

Restitution Activist Mwazulu Diyabanza Must Pay the Louvre €5,000 for Taking an Artwork From a Display Case

Kate Brown, Artnet, December 18, 2020

The Congolese restitution activist Mwazulu Diyabanza has been sentenced to a fine and a deferred prison term in Paris for removing an object from a display case at the Louvre in what he called a political action to cast light on restitution issues.


Diyabanza has undertaken similar actions at museums across Europe, targeting ethnographic collections taken from former colonies. His acts, he says, cannot be considered theft because the objects are already stolen property.


In a curiously timed sequence of events, yesterday, the French government managed to push through an unprecedented bill that would see the full restitution of 27 objects to its source countries by the end of 2021. {snip}

Diyabanza tells Artnet News that the bill is “a sleepy and dilatory political measure” and “an insult and a provocation.”

He says he is determined to see “that our heritage may be returned to us unconditionally.”