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Algeria president calls on France to return Ottoman archive

April 7, 2021 at 11:01 am

Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Algerian president, 13 December 2019 [Faisal/Twitter]

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has called on France to return archives dating back to the Ottoman era, smuggled out of the country during the French colonial era from 1830 to 1962, Anadolu reported.

“The archive is an integral part of our memory (…) what France smuggled of the Ottoman archives it found in Algeria should be returned to us,” Tebboune said in a press conference.

“We are determined to retrieve our archives with full firmness,” he added.

Algerian authorities and historians say France smuggled hundreds of thousands of maps and historical documents, including materials that date back to the Ottoman era (1518-1830), out of Algeria.

In 2017, the Algerian government said France holds 98 per cent of the country’s smuggled archives.

READ: French senator calls for quid pro quo for Algerian access to national archive