KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – Apollo John Rwamparo speaks forlornly of the eight-legged stool, a symbol of authority for his ancient kingdom in Uganda, now glimpsed through a glass barrier at a museum thousands of miles away in Britain. The wooden stool is permanently exhibited at the University of Oxford, one of at least 279 objects there taken from Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom during the colonial era. Oxford has resisted attempts to have the stool repatriated, saying it was donated by a royal from a breakaway kingdom. “It’s quite frustrating,” said Rwamparo, a deputy prime minister and minister for tourism for the kingdom. “The best is for them to swallow their pride, like the French and the Germans have done, and return the artifacts.”
African countries’ efforts at restitution, after long resistance from authorities in Europe, are now blossoming with the return of treasured pieces that once were thought unattainable.