A facsimile of this speech was found in 2015 in the documents of the Finoutremer collection, a company resulting from the merger of companies created under the Belgian colony and liquidated in 2000. It is kept in the State Archives and can be consulted on the Internet.
“It is an absolutely unique historical trace since it is a document written by hand with annotations, the mediocre corrections almost ‘live’ according to King Baudouin”, explained the Secretary of State.
The original, no doubt stolen after the speech was delivered, is still missing. According to the deputy, it appears from the necessary hearings by the commission which looks into the colonial past that the document could still be found in Belgium, among the descendants of the one who stole it.
“The big challenge today is to find the original, which is either in the State Archives or in a private fund. This document is highly symbolic and important for Congolese history. In the coming weeks, we are therefore going to launch an appeal to the public to try to find it and ensure the traceability of this original document which could be the subject of scientific or cultural collaboration with our friends and our Congolese colleagues”, explained Mr. Dermine .
At a time when the government has initiated a policy of restitution of cultural property that Belgium appropriated during the colonial period, Mr. Delizée pleaded for Mr. Lumumba’s speech to also be returned to the Congolese authorities. The words of the Prime Minister of Congo had made history. He notably recalled bluntly the fate that the colonizer had reserved for the Congolese populations, failing to provoke the departure of King Baudouin from the ceremony.