From October 2024 Germany will start sending back goods and artefacts looted from Tanzania, in the course of the Maji-Maji War.
Reports from Berlin indicate that the items from Southern Tanzania are among the priceless artifacts looted by German troops from three African nations during the Colonial era.
Those stolen artifacts will now be permanently returned back to their respective countries of origin, including Tanzania.
The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which is based in Berlin and manages the German capital’s various museums, reveals that it had begun negotiations to return the artifacts to Namibia, Tanzania, and Cameroon.
Cultural items looted by Germany from Tanzania during the Maji Maji Rebellion may have to wait until October 2024
because the same objects have been slated to be included in a major exhibition on Tanzania’s history in Berlin September 2024.
The Maji Maji Rebellion was an armed uprising of Africans against German colonial rule in German East Africa (later Tanganyika).
The conflict was triggered by German Colonial policies designed to force the indigenous population to grow cotton for export.
Maji Maji war was fought between 1905 and 1907, by the time it ended nearly 300,000 people were killed, either from fighting or the later occurred famine.
During the battle, a number of cultural and valuable items were looted from Southern Tanganyika, now Tanzania.
From latest reports, the objects will be returned officially and permanently to Tanzania immediately the exhibition ends.
A small exhibition at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin will examine the colonial-era contexts of the museum’s Tanzania collection as well as more items from other African countries.
Among the artifacts to be returned is a shell-encrusted statue of the mother Goddess Ngonnso’, which is of great spiritual importance to the Nso’ people of northwest Cameroon.
The statue has been in the collection of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin since 1903, after it was ‘donated,’ by a German colonial official who forcibly took it away from the Nso’ tribesmen.
The Council is also approving the permanent return of 23 artifacts, including jewelry, tools and fashion items, to Namibia.
The objects, stolen during the colonial period from 1884 to 1919, were recently sent to Namibia for research purposes and will now remain there permanently.
Germany made headlines in 2021 when it became the first country to return bronzes looted from Nigeria by British troops to Benin. conflicts within its 20th-century colonial rule