African masks bought for over R67m in France regardless of protest

A Central African carved mask was sold in France.

A Central African carved masks was bought in France.

A carved masks from Central Africa, courting from the nineteenth century, was bought in France for 4.2 million euros (over R67 million) on Saturday, regardless of Gabonese protesters within the public sale home calling for the merchandise’s “‘restitution”.

The uncommon wood “Ngil” masks, utilized in ceremonies by the Fang ethnic individuals of Gabon, smashed its estimate of 300 000 – 400 000 euros on the public sale within the southern French metropolis of Montpellier.

“It is a case of receiving stolen items,” a person describing himself as a member of the Gabonese group in Montpellier exclaimed from the again of the public sale room, surrounded by half a dozen compatriots.

“We’ll file a grievance. Our ancestors, my ancestors, from the Fang group, we are going to get well this object”, the protester added, describing the masks as a “colonial ill-gotten achieve”.

Auctioneer Jean-Christophe Giuseppi stated the public sale was “completely authorized”, so far as he was conscious.

Accompanied by safety guards, the demonstrators left the public sale corridor calmly, however continued their protest in opposition to the sale of African artistic endeavors.

Saturday’s public sale additionally included a Congolese chair which bought for 44 000 euros.

With added prices and costs, the overall paid by the profitable bidder for the Fang masks was 5.25 million euros, near a report for such an merchandise.

In 2006 the same Fang masks introduced in 5.9 million euros at a Paris public sale.


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