When French soldiers and administrators left Algeria after more than a century of colonial rule, they did not go empty-handed. They took historical artefacts, books and maps, a national heritage that still sits in French libraries and archives today and which Algeria says its former colonial master should return.

France and Algeria this week mark the 50th anniversary of the July 5, 1962, independence declaration that ended French rule. Each side will reflect on the problems that entangle them.

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