DECOLONIZATION THROUGH REPATRIATION: A NEW GLOBAL HERITAGE MUSEUM FOR AFRICA
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This thesis investigates and examines the impact of European colonization and imperialism on West African cultural identity through the tracking and placing of items back into their historical contexts. The museum facility aspires to be a symbol of pride and awareness for West African arts and culture; serving and celebrating the West-African community and its arts and cultural heritage beyond borders by repatriating and, in effect, decolonizing its art and artifacts. The establishment of a facility to exhibit and recontextualize looted and returned art and artifacts is a long-awaited, challenging request that would allow them to be seen in its native West African gestalt. As a focal point for international engagement and reflection across a variety of urban contexts, The Museum and Cultural Center facility, through simultaneously redistributing and rehousing, caters to more culturally invested populations, where there is an eagerness for ethnically diverse representation as well as access to people and civilizations the broad populace may not typically engage with.