Exciting, powerful and informative this 42 min movie about African masks from DW Documentary is really instructive. ( french version : Le Marché des masques Africains )
Traditional African art is making a comeback at auction. There’s a huge demand for masks and statues, which are fetching record prices. But this demand is fueling art theft and counterfeiting.
Over the last 200 years, Africa has lost countless important cultural treasures. Thousands of them have ended up in museums, private collections and galleries. Masks and unusual cult objects have always attracted European collectors. What is new is that African art is now often bought as a purely speculative investment.
New excavations in the Nok tribal lands in Nigeria have unearthed centuries-old art that was lost because there was no written culture there, yet today many Nok artifacts can be found in museums from Boston to Brussels.
This documentary takes us to voodoo rituals in Togo, cult rites in Benin and to a European fair for primitive art. It also charts the way value is added on the route from poor wood carvers in Mali to prestigious auctions in Paris and New York.
We often sell African masks, if you want to add one to your collection or want to buy one get in touch. David Norden is a dealer and expert in African art since 1993 and bought and sold to small collectors, but also to museums and high end collectors from around the world.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION – COMMENT BELOW: