Cameroon calls for return of art objects from abroad

YAOUNDE, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Cameroonian authorities on Wednesday intensified pressure for art objects to be repatriated, condemning overseas auctions of its relics and demanding they come home.

The call was made during a cabinet meeting chaired by the country's Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute.

"Our communities have lost artifacts which have been traced to museums in Europe and other parts of the world. The Ministry of Arts and Culture and other partner ministries are working to bring back Cameroonian art objects which have been taken abroad," Pierre Ismael Bidoung Kpatt, Cameroon's Minister of Arts and Culture told reporters after the meeting in the capital Yaounde.

The government was working with reputed local and international experts and associations to ensure that the art objects are returned "honorably, administratively and safely" to the Central African nation, said Kpatt.

Cameroonian art, whether ancient or more contemporary, has fetched substantial prices at international auctions. Many of the treasures and art in the country were lost during the colonial period.

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