Devolving Restitution Workshop

Wednesday 9 June, 11.00 - 17.00 

Onyekachi Wambu of AFFORD and Professor Dan Hicks of the Pitt Rivers Museum run a workshop on unpicking the stolen art trail

Benin expedition

Currently there are hundreds of thousands of artefacts held in UK museums, libraries, palaces, Church property, and other public collections. Most of these artefacts are held in regional and local heritage collections across the UK.

This is the launch of an exciting series of six-themed workshops to explore the histories of African artefacts in local museums and heritage institutions, led by Prof. Dan Hicks, Pitt-Rivers Museum. The Devolving Restitution programme brings together museums, community heritage practitioners and communities from across the UK for six events, each addressing a different theme in African collections histories and opening up new dialogues with African claimants, UK heritage institutions and local communities. .

The series aims not only to move forward the traditionally London-centric nature of debates about decolonisation and restitution in UK museums, but also actively to include and amplify the claims of African-based organisations and communities for the return of African heritage.

Join us in exploring these complex and diverse histories of looting, collection and display of African artefacts and human remains in the UK’s local heritage institutions. 

The Devolving Restitution workshops program makes a high-profile national intervention to support the important work of African restitution being undertaken by local and regional heritage institutions. The six project themes are: Military Looting, Archaeological Expeditions, Objects of Sovereignty, Objects of Belief, Human Remains, and Scientific Collecting (including natural history and ethnographic collecting).

Speakers for the first event, Military Looting, include Professor Dan Hicks and Onyekachi Wambu who are are joined by Dr. Mary-Ann Middelkoop, University of Oxford, TBC (Oxford Anti Racist Coalition ) and Theodore Monod Museum of African Art), Dakar, Senegal amongst others.

Session 1: Punitive Expeditions, Looting and the collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum


Session 2: Restitution and return. 

To find out more about the Devolving Restitution Project see