London’s Horniman Museum to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

London's Horniman Museum to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – London’s Horniman Museum mentioned on Sunday it will return 72 artefacts, together with 12 brass plaques referred to as Benin Bronzes, looted from Benin City by way of British squaddies in 1897 to the Nigerian govt.

Created from brass and bronze within the as soon as mighty Kingdom of Benin in what’s now southwestern Nigeria from no less than the sixteenth century onwards, the Benin Bronzes are amongst Africa’s maximum culturally vital artefacts.

They had been seized, along side 1000’s of different pieces, in a British army incursion, and ended up in museums in Europe and the United States.

African international locations have battled for years to get well works pillaged by way of explorers and colonisers, whilst Western establishments are grappling with the cultural legacies of colonialism.

German government ultimate month returned the primary of greater than 1,100 invaluable sculptures to Nigeria, following examples set by way of Jesus College at Cambridge University and the Quai Branly museum in Paris ultimate yr. learn extra

The Horniman mentioned Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) had asked the return of the artefacts at first of the yr.

“The evidence is very clear that these objects were acquired through force, and external consultation supported our view that it is both moral and appropriate to return their ownership to Nigeria,” mentioned Eve Salomon, chair of the trustees of the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

“The Horniman is pleased to be able to take this step and we look forward to working with the NCMM to secure longer term care for these precious artefacts.”

NCMM Director-General Abba Tijani welcomed the verdict, pronouncing he regarded ahead to discussing mortgage agreements and collaborations with the Horniman.

The returns are most probably to building up force at the British Museum in London, which holds by way of some distance the most important and most important selection of Benin Bronzes.

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Reporting by way of Paul Sandle; Editing by way of Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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