African artist to create new slavery memorial in France, campaign group says


The Tuileries Garden in Paris will host the new memorial commemorating the victims of slavery
© Kris Atomic

The French government has launched an open call for a memorial commemorating the victims of slavery to be installed in the Tuileries Garden near the Louvre museum. This decision was welcomed by the Paris-based black defense group, the Representative Council of Black Associations in France (Cran), but “the artist chosen must be of African origin,” said the honorary president of the association, Louis-Georges Tin.

In 2016, former President François Hollande announced the creation of a foundation to create a memorial and museum of slavery in Paris. On April 27, 2018, on the 170th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the French colonies, President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement: [proposed] The foundation will replace slavery in the long history of France, from the first French colonial empire to the present day. Macron confirmed last May that a slavery memorial would be built in Paris.

Tin says, “The idea of ​​Holland ultimately came to nothing. A memorial is a good idea but a museum would be better. It is high time that we have a museum in Paris; there also has to be some sort of financial compensation. He adds that the Representative Council of Black Associations in France has drawn up a report calling for the creation of a new museum, which will be submitted to the new mayor of Paris after the next municipal elections (the second round is scheduled for June 28) .

Louvre officials will be responsible for the management of the new monument project. A steering committee made up of personalities “in the field of the commemoration of slavery … but also of contemporary art and the conservation of historic monuments” will oversee the project. Representatives of the City of Paris will also be part of the panel. The work will belong to the French State, part of the national collection (National Fund for Contemporary Art).

The French Ministry of Culture says that “the work of art must integrate harmoniously into the garden and take into account [any] site constraints. The winning artist will be announced in early 2021 and work is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The application deadline is September 1.


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