Nadja Haumberger, curator of the Africa collection south of the Sahara, Weltmuseum Vienna
Restitution, repatriation, and colonial contexts are buzzwords that have been more present in the media landscape, especially in German-speaking countries, since the publication of Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy's report "On the Restitution of African Cultural Property" ("Restituer le patrimoine africain," 2018) have been more present than before. Predominantly ethnographic museums and their collections as well as the "region" of sub-Saharan Africa are in focus. Beyond professional circles, a plethora of newspaper articles, tweets, Facebook posts, or online publications testify to questions and demands on museum collections. Especially in social media, a broad audience or a conscious non-public of ethnographic museums discusses these complex topics.
But what constitutes an ethnographic museum, what its collections?
Museums are places of reunion and storage of material culture, and the current debates show in particular their current social relevance.