African mask sold € 4M creates protest in auction room

Record sales for an African mask sold for more than €4 million in Montpellier, a controversy erupts in full auction Hectic sale at the Montpellier auction house this Saturday, March 26. An African collector's item, a 19th century Fang mask, was sold for more than €4 million at an auction disturbed by a spectator. Evoking "an ill-gotten good", he asked for the withdrawal of the object "stolen from Africa". Priced at €300,000, the Fang mask soared to €4.2 million during the auction, which took place this Saturday, March 26 in Montpellier. This object, dated with carbon 14 in the 19th century, was exceptional by the quality of its realization and also by its price which broke all records. "There are only a dozen masks of this quality in the world", detailed in the preamble Jean-Christophe Giuseppi, one of the auctioneers of the sale. As the auction reached €600,000, a man suddenly spoke up to denounce the sale of this mask. For him, "this object was stolen in Gabon * and must return to its country of origin". Gabon and Congo are today two neighboring countries but the borders were not so clear before colonization. "I'm not going to buy something that was stolen during colonization" The purchaser insisted on making sure that this mask was not an ill-gotten good. "France has been looting Africa for centuries. I am not going to buy something that was stolen during colonization. If you heard me, this object would not be on sale here. We will file a complaint and this object will come back in Gabon." The auctioneer had great difficulty in bringing calm to the auction room. This object has a particular value because it is a mask of justice, used during ceremonies to install fear and pronounce sanctions that can go as far as death. * In pre-colonial times, Gabon was made of small tribal kingdoms, and part of the country is subordinated to the medieval Kingdom of Congo. Seen in Midi Libre, Montpeller, Cathy Soun

African mask sold € 4M creates protest in auction room

Record sales for an African mask sold for more than €4 million in Montpellier, a controversy erupts in full auction Hectic sale at the...