Mwazulu Diyabanza has been fined and jailed for entering museums and forcibly removing ‘pillaged’ African artefacts. He tells our writer why the British Museum is now in his sights
Mwazulu Diyabanza makes no secret of why he is in France. If coronavirus had not closed most of Europe’s museums, the Congolese activist would probably be inside one right now, wresting African objects from their displays to highlight what he sees as the mass pillaging of the continent by European colonialists.
And it’s not just the mighty museums. Diyabanza and his supporters also plan to include smaller galleries, private collections and auction houses in their campaign. “Wherever the riches of our heritage and culture have been stolen,” says the 42-year-old, “we will intervene.” As the leader of a pan-African movement called Yanka Nku (Unity, Dignity and Courage), Diyabanza is on a mission is to recover all works of art and culture taken from Africa to Europe. He calls his method “active diplomacy”.