Researchers have discovered that there are at least 114 objects in Dutch museum collections that have been looted from Nigeria. In 1897, British soldiers took the objects from the palace of the King of the Benin Empire, in what is now the Nigerian city of Benin City. A spokeswoman for the National Museum of World Cultures Foundation confirms a message about this in Trouw on Saturday.
These include carved tusks, metal king’s heads and plaques. They are in collections in the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, the Africa Museum in Berg en Dal and the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. Nigeria would like them back.
Last year a special committee called for the restitution of looted art from ex-colonies. Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Culture) has now drawn up a plan on this, which the next cabinet will have to decide on.
The report that researchers from the museums in question have drawn up about Nigerian art will be online from the beginning of next week. In it, they provided insight into how traders and British officers brought the objects to Europe at the time.
Source site www.nu.nl