STOCKBRIDGE, MA—Acknowledging the need to right historical wrongs, curators at the Norman Rockwell Museum announced Friday that they were returning dozens of looted paintings to Africa. “These artworks belong to the West African peoples they were taken from, and we have no right as a Western museum to continue to perpetuate centuries of colonial plunder,” said museum director Laurie Norton Moffatt, adding that The Lineman, The Gossips, Before The Date, Day In The Life Of A Little Girl, The Runaway, and the Four Freedoms paintings were among the dozens of looted Norman Rockwell artifacts being repatriated to their rightful homes on the African continent. “These ancient African depictions of Americana and portrayals of small-town American life belong to the people who made them, not the so-called Christian missionaries and imperial explorers who pilfered them. Some of these Norman Rockwell paintings are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old, and many have deep spiritual or religious significance to African tribes. We cannot in good conscience sustain the cycle of violence that led to their acquisition. The amount of Ghanaian blood shed in order to acquire his Rosie The Riveter painting alone should make this museum guilty of war crimes. That barbaric cycle ends today.” Critics of the decision said that removing dozens of important works of art from the Massachusetts museum would further limit cultural exchange and prevent Americans from better understanding the cultures of ancient Africa through Norman Rockwell’s work.