Ghana’s post-independence governments have made a number of requests for the return of looted and illegally acquired Ghanaian cultural objects in the collections of European museums. While the majority of those requests were denied, a few were honoured. This talk will assess three of the demands and the aftermath of their return.

It will also examine the preparedness of heritage institutions and museums in Ghana in relation to issues of restitution and repatriation. Dr Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo identifies the numerous challenges confronting the museum and heritage sector in Ghana, and concludes by calling on policy makers, traditional authorities, universities and the government of Ghana to deepen public awareness of cultural heritage, invest more in museums and heritage institutions to function well and revisit earlier demands that were denied.

Dr Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo is a senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, School of Arts, College of Humanities at the University of Ghana. She holds a Ph.D. and an MPhil. in Archaeology. Her research foci include museology, heritage management and preservation, gender issues in archaeology, and ethnography. She is one of the curators of the Museum of Archaeology at the University of Ghana and has a strong passion for museum exhibitions and education. Her current research focus is on issues associated with restitution of cultural materials of Ghanaian origin housed in museums abroad. She was a MIASA Fellow and a co-convener of MIASA IFG5.

Organised by Leverhulme Early Career Fellow Dr Lorna Dillon.