New Relational Ethics and Old Orientalisms in Arno Bertina’s “Des lions comme des danseuses”

Envisioning a New Relational Ethics

Imagining Beyond the Status Quo in “Des lions comme des danseuses”

Orientalist Caveats


Works Cited

  • Bertho, Elara. “Restitutions du patrimoine africain: Fictions et réalités.” Multitudes, vol. 74, no. 1, 2019, pp. 23–29.
  • Bertina, Arno. Des lions comme des danseuses. Kindle ed., (Éditions) La Contre Allée, 2015.
  • Brown, Kate. “Benin’s Looted Bronzes Are All Over the Western World. Here Are 7 Museums That Hold Over 2,000 of the Famed Sculptures.” Artnet, 27 July 2018,
    . Accessed 10 May 2021.
  • “Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970.” UNESCO, Accessed 10 May 2021.
  • “Discours du Président de la République à la communauté française de Ouagadougou.” Élysée, 1 Dec. 2017, Accessed 10 May 2021.
  • Hebaz, Nadia. “Des lions comme des danseuses d’Arno Bertina: lieux et contraintes de la double commande.” COnTEXTES, no. 29, 2020, OpenEdition, doi:10.4000/contextes.9843. Accessed 26 April 2021.
  • Marshall, Alex. “A New Museum to Bring the Benin Bronzes Home.” New York Times, 13 Nov. 2020, Accessed 15 May 2021.
  • Sarr, Felwine, and Bénédicte Savoy. Rapport sur la restitution du patrimoine culturel africain: Vers une nouvelle éthique relationnelle. Ministère de la Culture, 2018.
  • Savoy, Bénédicte. “No Humboldt 21: réflexions sur un conte politique d’Arno Bertina: Des lions comme des danseuses.” Literatur leben : Festschrift für Ottmar Ette, edited by Albrecht Buschmann, Iberoamericana Editorial Vervuert, 2016, pp. 257–265.




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John Hoobyar

John Hoobyar

John is a writer and artist in New York. Find more of his work at

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