Are African Artifacts Safer in Europe? 非洲文物 在歐洲更安全？
Is Africa's cultural heritage better off in Europe or in Africa?
That is the question at the heart of a yearslong debate that has gripped museums in Europe, where many officials say they support the idea of repatriating artifacts, but worry that African museums cannot compare to state-of-the-art facilities in Britain, France or Germany.
That debate has been given new life in recent months after an investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper found that many of the artifacts that will be on display in the Humboldt Forum, a huge new museum under construction in a rebuilt Berlin palace, had for years been stored in less-than-ideal conditions. The report featured searing depictions of flooded storage rooms and depots choked with toxic dust.
The Humboldt Forum will bring together the collections of several existing museums in the city under one roof, but reports in German news media have focused on the storage facilities of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin, which will be the Forum's largest single contributor.
They have denied some of the reports, in particular the claim of flooded storerooms, but said their depots were beset with problems common to museums across Germany. Those included outdated facilities, a lack of staff members, and a sense of disarray that dates to moments of crisis in German history.
Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese art collector who runs a foundation that has organized the return of artifacts to Congo and Angola, said it was true that "a whole generation" of museum professionals, like curators and conservationists, needed to be trained "in most of the African countries." But while that new generation was being trained, he said, it is European museums' responsibility to make sure African audiences had access to the artifacts in their possession.
It is up to them to create the conditions that would let African artifacts "play their role where they need to be right now, in Africa," he added.
Take the Road Less Traveled,Tourism Officials Plead 分散旅遊興起 鼓勵你朝人少處去
The hike to Hanging Lake, just east of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is short and steep, rising more than 1,000 feet in just over 1 mile. The payoff vista — an idyllic turquoise pool fed by waterfalls, ringed in evergreens and seemingly hanging off the edge of a cliff — has been known to attract up to 1,500 hikers on a busy day.
It's too many for the fragile ecosystem. To regulate traffic, the U.S. Forest Service, with the city of Glenwood Springs, this year implemented a permit requirement ($12), limiting visitors to 600 a day between May 1 and Oct. 31.
Now, many other popular tourist destinations are trying a new tactic to maintain their tourism numbers without disturbing the attractions that draw them in the first place: positive redirection. Across the globe, travel providers and government agencies are responding to overtourism with suggestions for less-crowded places and quieter seasons in hopes of producing a broader but lighter footprint.
Expanding when and where to go mirrors the rise of tourism, linked to the growth of the middle class in emerging markets. From 25 million travelers in the 1950s, tourist arrivals around the world grew to 1.4 billion in 2018, and the World Tourism Organization forecasts that number to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030.
In the United States, 60% of travelers believe overcrowding will have a significant impact on destinations they choose within the next five to 10 years, according to the 2019 Portrait of American Travelers survey, conducted by the hospitality marketing firm MMGY Global.
"As a tour operator, I think it's our responsibility to help expand people's places of interest," said Jason Wertz, a former art dealer who founded Uncovr Travel in 2018. The tour company specializes in less-visited areas and trips often go in shoulder seasons when, Wertz added, "there are less people and you get a more authentic experience."