Sun, Aug 21, 2011 - Page 4 News List

Ivory Coast museum mourns loss of looted artifacts

AFP, ABIDJAN

“We need an alarm system and weapons,” museum security guard Jean-Claude Agniman said.

However, by far the worst consequence of the looting, Ivorians say, is the loss of patrimony invaluable to helping forge a common national identity as the nation embarks on reconstruction after a decade of crises and tensions.

“Ivory Coast is losing its points of reference with the disappearance of these pieces,” said Ivorian poet and writer Paul Ahizi, describing the theft as “a desecration of the spirit of [our] ancestors.”

“The country will have a problem defining its own identity and spirituality,” he said.

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