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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



Main regulations and agreements protecting West African cultural heritage:

(non-exhaustive list)




The Hague Convention of 14 May 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
Ratification: Côte d’Ivoire (1980)
Accession: Mali, Nigeria (1961) – Burkina Faso (1969) – Niger (1976)
Senegal (1987) – Benin (2012)

First Protocol (14 May 1954)
Accession: Mali, Nigeria (1961) – Niger (1976)
Burkina Faso, Senegal (1987) – Benin (2012)

Second Protocol (26 March 1999)
Ratification: Nigeria (2005)
Accession: Niger (2006) – Benin, Mali (2012)

UNESCO Convention of 14 November 1970 on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Ratification: Niger, Nigeria (1972) – Senegal (1984)
Burkina Faso, Mali (1987) – Côte d’Ivoire (1990)

UNESCO Convention of 16 November 1972 concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Ratification: Nigeria (1974) – Senegal (1976) – Côte d’Ivoire (1981)
Benin (1982) – Burkina Faso (1987) – Guinea-Bissau (2006)
Acceptance: Niger (1974) – Mali (1977) – Togo (1998)

UNIDROIT Convention of 24 June 1995 on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.
Ratification: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire (1995) – Senegal (1996)
Accession: Nigeria (2005)

UNESCO Convention of 2 November 2001 on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
Ratification: Nigeria (2005) – Benin (2011) – Togo (2013)






Decree No. 35/PR/MENJS concerning the protection of cultural property (1 June 1968).

Article 10 of the Constitution of 11 December 1990.

Law No. 91-006 implementing the Cultural Charter in the Republic of Benin (25 February 1991).

Law No. 2007-20 concerning the protection of cultural heritage and natural heritage of a cultural character in the Republic of Benin (17 August 2007).



Decree No. 2007-816/PRES promulgating the Law No. 024-2007/AN of 13 November 2007 relating to the protection of cultural heritage in Burkina Faso (3 December 2007).



Law No. 87-806 concerning the protection of the cultural heritage (28 July 1987).

Article 7 of the Constitution of 23 July 2000.



Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of 16 May 1984.



Decree No. 203/PG-RM instituting a National Cultural Heritage Protection Commission (13 August 1985).

Decree No. 275/PG-RM regulating archaeological excavations (4 November 1985).

Law No. 86-61/AN-RM concerning dealers in cultural goods (26 July 1986).

Decree No. 299/PG-RM regulating the prospecting, marketing and export of cultural properties (19 September 1986).

Article 70 of the Constitution of 27 February 1992.

Interministerial Order No. 94-7968/MCC-MAT to regulate the profession of dealers in cultural property, prospecting, marketing and export of cultural property (18 July 1994).

Order No. 96-1591/MCC-SG to repeal and replace Order No. 0003/MSAC-DNAC of 12 January 1989 to set up and define the operating procedures of regional and local Cultural Heritage Protection Commissions (14 October 1996).

Law No. 10-061 amending Law No. 85-40/AN-RM of 26 July 1985 relating to the protection and promotion of the national cultural heritage (30 December 2010).



Law No. 97-002 relating to the protection, preservation and enhancement of national cultural heritage (30 June 1997)

and Decree No. 97-407/PRN/MCC/MESRT/IA establishing the procedures for its implementation (10 November 1997).

Article 82 of the Constitution of 18 July 1999, revised 13 May 2004.



Decree No. 77 on the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (28 September 1979).

Article 60b of the Constitution of 29 May 1999.



Law No. 71-12 governing the management of historic monuments and of excavations and discoveries (25 January 1971).

Decree No. 73-746 for the application of Law No. 71-12 of 25 January 1971 governing the management of historic monuments and of excavations and discoveries (8 August 1973).



Law No. 90-24 on the protection of national cultural heritage (23 November 1990).

Article 40 of the Constitution of 12 September 1992, revised in December 2000.

Decree No. 2010-173/PR on the National Commission for Cultural Heritage (15 December 2010). ( - Download Free Porn from Keep2Share