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Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk

Why a West African Red List? 

Throughout history, West Africa has suffered extensive losses of its cultural heritage. ICOM, thanks to the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the U.S. Department of State, is publishing the Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk. Even though they are protected by national legislation and international agreements, the types of objects on this List are at risk of being traded in the illicit art and antiquities market.

The fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods requires the enhancement – and the enforcement – of legal instruments as well as the use of practical tools.

The purpose of the West African Red List, drafted in close cooperation with a team of national and international experts, is to ensure the right of future generations to this heritage.

 

Download the Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk in English

Download the Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk in French

 

Context

Protecting cultural heritage

Museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors are urged not to acquire objects similar to those presented on the List without having carefully and thoroughly researched their origin and all the relevant legal documentation. Any cultural artefact that could have originated from this region should be subjected to detailed scrutiny and precautionary measures before any transaction is conducted.

We wish to remind everyone that ICOM does not provide certificates of origin or authenticity. Only national government authorities are authorized to issue any type of document related to the export and import of cultural goods.