According to The Art Newspaper, the Belgian government plans to hand back colonial loot to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) starting in 2022.
An expert commission will classify thousands of museum artefacts into three categories:
Those that were unequivocally looted and whose ownership should be immediately transferred to the DRC
Those that were legitimately acquired and can remain in Belgian public ownership
Those with unclear provenance
Objects in the last category will initially remain in Belgium’s possession but their legal status will be changed so they are no longer “inalienable” – a move that means they can be removed from the federal collections, The Art Newspaper explains.