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Germany has returned over 20 Benin Bronzes stolen from Nigeria

Written by on 25 December 2022

Article was sourced from 25th December, 2022

Germany has returned over 20 Benin Bronzes stolen from Nigeria, back to the West African nation.

the Benin Bronzes, which are a group of sculptures and other art objects that were created by the Kingdom of Benin in what is now modern-day Nigeria. The Bronzes were created between the 13th and 19th centuries and are known for their intricate and highly detailed designs. Many of the Bronzes were taken from Benin City during a military expedition by the British in 1897 and were subsequently sold or given away to museums and private collectors around the world.

In recent years, there has been ongoing discussion and debate about the ethical and moral implications of the looting and removal of the Benin Bronzes and other cultural artifacts from their countries of origin. Some people argue that these objects should be returned to their countries of origin, while others believe that they should remain in the museums and institutions where they are currently housed.

Regardless of one’s perspective on this issue, it is important to recognize and respect the cultural significance of the Benin Bronzes and the rich history of the Kingdom of Benin. It is also important to consider the impact of colonialism and the ways in which it has affected the cultural heritage of many nations around the world.

The Bronze’s were auctioned off and then spread among institutions from New Zealand to Germany and the United States, with the biggest collection in London.

Last year, Germany said it would hand over these artifacts taken away from Africa by Europeans during the colonial period. It was keeping them in its museums.

Germany had signed a declaration with Nigeria earlier this year to release all 1,130 Benin Bronzes in German public museums.

Nigerian foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama and information minister Lai Mohammed, Germany’s minister for culture and media Claudia Roth as well as directors of museums in Germany were present at the handover event.

“Today we are taking a step that was long overdue: We are returning 20 Benin bronzes from German museums to where they belong, to their homeland,” Baerbock told reporters in Abuja.

Nigeria’s information minister called on the British Museum to release the more than 900 Benin Bronzes it has.

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