Extremely rare, this wooden mask with pure lines, prerogative of a secret society of the Fang people of Gabon, "pulverized" its estimate, very cautious, from 300,000 to 400,000 euros, rejoiced in a press release the Hotel des Ventes from Montpellier (south).

With the costs, it reached 5.25 million euros, according to the same source and "close to the heels" of the record of 5.9 million euros reached in Paris in 2006 by another mask of the Fang people, whose l esthetics inspired the painters Modigliani or Picasso.

"This is concealment," exclaimed from the back of the auction room a man posing as a member of the Gabonese community of Montpellier, noted an AFP journalist.

"Don't worry, we are going to file a complaint. Our ancestors, my ancestors, from the Fang community, we are going to recover this object", an "ill-gotten colonial good", he launched, accompanied by a half - dozen of his compatriots.

The auctioneer, Jean-Christophe Giuseppi, replied to him that the sale was done "legally, in the current state of (his) information".

Accompanied by the security service, the demonstrators left the room calmly, but continuing to protest against the auction of African works of art, where various objects were scattered, including a siege from the Congo awarded at 44,000 euros.

© 2022 AFP