Belgium to return to Rwanda the archives of the colonial period

Belgium will return to Rwanda its archives of the colonial period.

An envelope of 400,000 euros has been provided for this purpose.

The project, which will extend over two years, aims to digitize all archives in possession of the Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren and royal archives, said Friday the office of the Minister of Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo.

The project will start next year, with the visit of a delegation of Rwandan archivists who will define their priorities.

The debate on the return of property to former colonies is not new in Belgium.

In this context, Minister De Croo participated last week in a conference devoted to strengthening the links between Africa and Europe, supported notably by the Central African Museum, the Royal Library and the Institute Egmont, the think tank of Foreign Affairs.

And at the beginning of the week, 36 specialists from Africa signed an open letter, published in De Standaard, in which they pleaded for a return of goods seized in Africa by Belgium during its colonial period.

For De Croo, it is important today to discuss this restitution with the authorities and museum directors, but also with experts from the African countries concerned.

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