Artefacts reportedly taken from the Kingdom of Benin in the 19th century will be returned to Nigeria according to an agreement by the Horniman Musuem in London with Nigeria.
The agreement includes the transfer of Ownership of 72 items to the Nigerian government, according to the Museum. A key to the Oba of Benin’s palace is among the items, which also comprise 12 bronze plaques, also called Benin Bronzes, and a brass cockerel.
The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) of Nigeria made the request in January, and it has been granted. The museum, which is located in south-east London, claims to have consulted with local residents, tourists, students, researchers, specialists in the field of heritage, and artists from Nigeria and the UK.
What they say
Chairperson of the museum, Eve Salomon, said: “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”
“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.”
What you should Know
- There has been intense pressure on European countries to return stolen artefacts in recent years.
- Germany has returned 1,100 artefacts to Nigeria.
- Britain holds the biggest collection of stolen artefacts from Nigeria.
- The returned artefacts will be stored in the Benin Museum and also in Lagos.