Is the future of museums in Africa?

We speak to museum experts András Szántó and Sonia Lawson. Plus, Dan Hicks on the legacy of colonial looting and National Gallery curator Christopher Riopelle on the Polish painter Jan Matejko

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The Palais de Lomé museum in Togo is one of many African museums turning the concept of the institution on its head Photo: Louis Vincent

This week we look at museums and Africa: we explore the future of museums and African institutions’ central role in it and we look at the 19th-century looting of the Benin Bronzes and what it tells us about museums and colonialism, then and now. We talk to Sonia Lawson, the founding director of the Palais de Lomé in Togo, and András Szántó, the writer of the new book The Future of the Museum: 28 Dialogues.

We also speak to Dan Hicks, professor of contemporary archaeology at the University of Oxford and curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum there, about his book The Brutish Museums, focusing on the Benin Bronzes.

Jan Matejko's The Astronomer Copernicus. Conversations with God (1873 ) Courtesy of the Jagiellonian University Museum, Kraków. Photo: Grzegorz Zygier

And for our Work of the Week, Christopher Riopelle of the National Gallery in London talks about a painting of Copernicus by the Polish artist Jan Matejko, which is coming to the museum for an exhibition next year.

The Week in Art podcast by The Art Newspaper is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts. This podcast is sponsored by Christie's.