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Africa and «the brutish museums»

Leo Afrikaneren, Caravans of Gold – Fragments in Time – Art Culture and Exchanges Across Medieval Saharan Africa, The Brutish Museums, The Whole Picture
CULTURAL HISTORY: It is necessary to relinquish ownership of the colonial loot. The treasures of European museums have been stolen. And what about the Cultural History Museum in Oslo – which is also on the list of museums that have Benin's stolen bronze sculptures?

When I saw them snow-covered a few years ago The Atlas Mountains from a rooftop in Marrakesh, in the south Morocco, I suddenly came to think of the descriptions of Leo Afrikaneren (ca. 1485–1554). Or al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan al-Fasi, as he was originally called when he was born in Granada, Spain. Like most Jews and Muslims, he and his family had to flee across the Mediterranean and to Africa when the Inquisition banned them in Catholic Spain from August 1492.

And that was where Leo the Afrikaner came, to the mountains. . .

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Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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