Germany's colonies in Africa at center of debate as new museums open in Berlin

Germany’s president called on Germans to face the country’s cruel colonial past as he opened a new museum in the capital’s center that will be home to two of Berlin’s state museums, the Associated Press reports.

The Ethnological Museum and the Museum for Asian Art both contain artifacts that were looted from countries in Africa and elsewhere.

“Especially the countries in Africa have lost an immense part of their art through the raids of the Europeans,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the official opening ceremony of the Humboldt Forum.

“The injustice committed by Germany during colonial times must concern all of us, the entire society,” he added.

The Humboldt Forum — located in the heart of Berlin, next to the neoclassical Museum Island complex — features collections of African, Asian and other non-European art in a partial replica of a Prussian palace that was demolished by East Germany’s communist government after World War II.

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