A Congolese activist and four others go on trial in France’s capital, Paris, on Wednesday for trying to take an African funeral staff from France’s indigenous art museum.
It was part of a protest against colonial-era plundering.
Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and four others are charged with attempted group theft of a historical object and could face up to 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros ($176,000; £137,221) in fines.
The charges stem from an incident in June when the 41-year-old activist went to the Quai Branly museum and removed a 19th-century funeral staff from Chad and paraded it around the building.
Since then he has staged similar operations at other museums.
Vice magazine has described Mr Diyabanza as “a real-life Killmonger” – a character in the Black Panther film who also protests against a museum in Europe keeping an artefact pillaged from Africa.
But French officials have condemned the stunt and the Quai Branly museum is a civil party in the trial against Mr Diyabanza.
“The issue of restitution… deserves a serious debate,” Emmanuel Kasarherou, director of the museum said.