Triumphant return of heritage works to the fold


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the 241 works exhibited at the Musée du Quai Branly for nearly 4 months all arrived in Cameroon and were presented to traditional and administrative dignitaries on Thursday August 18, 2022.

The exhibition called “On the road to the chiefdoms of Cameroon. From visible to invisible” held the French capital in suspense from April 5 to July 17, 2022. Carried by the route of the chiefdoms, an event which was a great success. Thanks to the result of the pooling of several energies. The ceremony of August 18, 2022 in Bafoussam was an opportunity to thank the lenders, the administrative authorities, the partners and the media who supported the project which is gradually returning to the station. “ We can be proud of what we have achieved together. We changed our destiny, we made history! Because yes, this cultural season has undeniably marked the cultural history of Cameroon. She is already in the annals”said Stéphanie DONGMO, Director of Chiefdom Road Operations. Speaking in his capacity as President of the Council of Traditional Chiefs of West Cameroon (CCTO), His Majesty Maurice TCHIO did not fail to express his satisfied: ” I would also like to draw attention to the fact that it is not the Grassfields but the whole of Cameroon that has been honored in this exhibition, through its rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage, architectural and landscape. . During the preparatory period for this unprecedented event, several questions were raised, in particular the question of the return of objects to the national territory in general, and to the lending chiefdoms in particular. We can clearly see that this return is effective. Our presence today bears witness to the responsibility and commitment of the Route des Chefferies in this initiative. “. The guided tour of the storage space allowed participants to admire the conservation techniques and the measures that have been taken to secure the works during their transport.

The sequel after the return of the works

A professional worksite to assess the condition of these works is organized on Friday August 19, 2022 in Bafoussam. Animated by Rahel Mariembe associate curator of the exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly, also head of the heritage department at the Institute of Fine Arts of Nkongsamba in the presence of about thirty professionals: managers of heritage cases (community museums) , collection managers in the West and North West chiefdoms, as well as students. After that, the works will return to the various lending chiefdoms. Taking part in the ceremony of August 18, 2022, the regional delegate of the Ministry of Arts and Culture of the West will underline the interest of the Parisian expedition which placed the preservation and enhancement of our heritage at the heart of the exhibition. cultural : ” This adventure has the merit of having been able to show the whole world a shining face of Cameroon »

A word on the route of the chiefdoms

The Route des Chefferies (DRC) is a unique cultural and tourism development program in sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to encourage people to reclaim their heritage while contributing to their economic and social development. It is an association launched by the diaspora of Nantes and supported by local actors in Cameroon (chiefs, private patrons, municipalities, etc.) The areas of expertise are: Museography, scientific research and cultural tourism. The program is based on a founding charter signed in 2006 by some fifty traditional chiefs from West and North West Cameroon. Its missions are as follows:

  • √Promotion and support of research activities;§ √Enhancement of Cameroon’s cultural heritage by making this precious heritage accessible to all, and in particular to indigenous communities;
  • *Strengthening intercultural dialogue, based on respect for ethnic, cultural and spiritual otherness;§ *Developing cultural tourism in order to generate sustainable local jobs and encourage respect for the environment and biodiversity;
  • √ Federation of local heritage and tourism stakeholders and lead the network thus set up, paying particular attention to the issue of good governance (stability, sustainability, recognition, transparency, etc.)
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Thierry EDJEGUE

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