In October 2018, some sixty academics and professional staff from the museum and heritage sector put their name under an opinion article in two Belgian newspapers that emphasized the need for a serious debate on the restitution of African cultural heritage acquired by Belgian museums during the colonial period. The article called for the development of ethical guidelines for the Belgian museum sector with respect to the management and restitution of colonial collections.
One year later, the initiators set up an independent group of experts from different institutional and professional backgrounds. The result of this collaboration is a document that provides a first attempt to provide a series of guidelines for dealing with colonial collections and restitution, adapted to the Belgian context. This text is meant as a starting point, not an end point and the initiators are aware of its many limitations.
It is now available online at https://restitutionbelgium.be/en/report
For more information, see also: https://restitutionbelgium.be/en/foreword