Nigeria Will Receive 1,130 Looted Benin Bronzes From Germany.

 

Nigeria Will Receive 1,130 Looted Benin Bronzes From Germany.

A historic joint declaration between the governments of Germany and Nigeria will allow for the return of 1,130 bronzes from Benin to Nigeria.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister of information for Nigeria, and Amb. Zubairu Dada, the minister of state for foreign affairs, both signed on behalf of Nigeria, while Ms. Annalena Baerbock, the minister of foreign affairs for Germany, and Ms. Claudia Roth, the minister of state for culture and the media, both signed on behalf of Germany.

After been stolen from the historic Benin Kingdom during the Benin Expedition of 1897, the confiscated bronzes are anticipated to return to Nigeria 125 years from now.

Germany did not colonize Nigeria, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, and it was not involved in the theft of the artifacts. He also noted that many of the Benin Bronzes in German public institutions were transported there through trade and donations.

The minister recalled that the artifacts were taken during the British force's Benin Expedition in 1897 from the ancient Benin Kingdom.

Mohammed thanked the government and people of Germany for what he described as the ”single largest repatriation of artefacts anywhere in the world”. 

”We also want to most sincerely thank the authorities of the various German regions, cities, museums and institutions that have been working in concert to ensure the manifestation of the history-making event that we are witnessing today. 

“By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past,” he said.

Also Speaking, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Ms. Baerbock, said: ”It was wrong to take the (Benin) bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong.”

In a symbolic gesture signifying the impending return of the artefacts, two of the Benin Bronzes were handed over to Nigeria at the signing ceremony.

 

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