Benin Displays 26 Antiquities Recovered from France for First Time

 French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks at the doors of
Benin King Glele's palace exhibited at the Quai Branly museum before
being shipped to the West African country, in Paris, France, Oct. 27,
2021. (AFP Photo)
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks at the doors of Benin King Glele's palace exhibited at the Quai Branly museum before being shipped to the West African country, in Paris, France, Oct. 27, 2021. (AFP Photo)
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Benin Displays 26 Antiquities Recovered from France for First Time

 French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks at the doors of
Benin King Glele's palace exhibited at the Quai Branly museum before
being shipped to the West African country, in Paris, France, Oct. 27,
2021. (AFP Photo)
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks at the doors of Benin King Glele's palace exhibited at the Quai Branly museum before being shipped to the West African country, in Paris, France, Oct. 27, 2021. (AFP Photo)

Benin President Patrice Talon on Saturday ‘proudly’ inaugurated a valuable historic exhibition about Cotonou. The exhibition displays 26 royal treasures to the public after they were returned by France in November, nearly 129 years after they were looted, according to Agence France Press (AFP).

This exhibition represents "pride and faith in what we once were, in what we are and in what we will be. This is the true Benin,” Talon told reporters.

He added that the recovery of these pieces “has broken a taboo. It’s not important anymore to wonder whether we can make it or not, because we did,” noting that Benin will request France to return more antiquities stolen by its colonial troops.

The exhibition, which kicked off on Feb.20 and runs until May 22, extends over a 2,000-square-metre space in the presidential palace in Cotonou under the theme “Benin Art Yesterday and Today.”

The 26 pieces returned by France after two years of negotiations between Paris and Cotonou, are the first of its kind recovery of important historic antiquities to an African state.

Earlier on Saturday, President Patrice Talon accompanied French minister of culture Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, who was visiting Cotonou, to see the 26 pieces that were formerly exhibited at the Quai Branly Museum in France.

“It’s a wonderful exhibition that adds more value to the creativity, and political, historic, and aesthetic heritage of these 26 pieces,” she said.

The pieces were stolen in 1892 by French colonial forces from Abomey, capital of the former Dahomey kingdom located in the south of modern-day Benin.



Gulf States Record High Temperatures After Summer Solstice

Days will gradually shorten as the Earth orbits until the autumnal equinox on September 22 (SPA)
Days will gradually shorten as the Earth orbits until the autumnal equinox on September 22 (SPA)
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Gulf States Record High Temperatures After Summer Solstice

Days will gradually shorten as the Earth orbits until the autumnal equinox on September 22 (SPA)
Days will gradually shorten as the Earth orbits until the autumnal equinox on September 22 (SPA)

The Arab Gulf region saw temperatures soar earlier this week after a hot spell, with Makkah, Saudi Arabia, hitting 51 degrees Celsius last Monday.

 

Despite this, Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology assured Asharq Al-Awsat that current summer temperatures haven’t exceeded those of the past three years, typically ranging from 38 to 48 degrees Celsius over the season’s 92 days.

 

The summer solstice, marking the start of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurred on June 20 at 11:50 PM local time, with the sun directly over the Tropic of Cancer.

 

Days will gradually shorten as the Earth orbits until the autumnal equinox on September 22.

 

In recent days, Saudi Arabia reached highs of 49 degrees Celsius in Al-Qaysumah and Al-Ahsa.

 

Meanwhile, the UAE's Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain recorded 47 degrees Celsius, and Oman saw its highest temperature of 49.2 degrees Celsius in Al-Dhahirah.

 

Qatar’s Jumayliyah hit 48 degrees Celsius, while Kuwait anticipated 50 degrees Celsius in Jahra.

 

Bahrain expected temperatures to reach 45 degrees Celsius over the weekend.