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Works of art looted during colonization in Nigeria soon to be returned

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                Several important announcements have just been made in connection with the return of works of art looted during colonization in Nigeria.  These works should eventually be exhibited in the Edo Museum for African Art, which is due to open at the end of 2024 in the Nigerian city of Benin City. 

                                    <p><em>With our correspondent in Lagos,</em> <strong>Liza Fabbian</strong>

It is a black bronze bust, representing an oba – a king – from Benin who will soon make his “unconditional” return to African soil. This work of art is one of hundreds of pieces looted by the British during the capture of the ancient city of Edo in 1897.

A ” notable example of the theft of cultural treasures associated with […] European colonization According to the University of Aberdeen where the piece is kept. Discussions are now underway with the Nigerian authorities to organize the legal transfer and then the physical transfer of the precious sculpture.

440 bronzes from Benin returned by Germany

At the same time, Berlin is also negotiating the return of more than 500 historical objects, including 440 bronzes from Benin to Nigeria. Half of these works were due to be exhibited at the end of 2021 at the Humboldt Forum, a museum in the German capital – but its director now suggests showing reproductions to the public, or even leaving symbolic empty spaces, to engage a critical reflection on the history of these objects.

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It remains to be seen whether the British Museum in London and the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford will follow these examples and in turn commit to returning their vast collections of bronzes from Benin.

►Also read: In Nigeria, a large art museum planned to accommodate the bronzes of the Kingdom of Benin


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