Wednesday, 27 October 2021

150+ Years Old Looted Bronze Returned To Benin Kingdom From UK

 His Royal Highness Prince Aghatise Erediauwa (centre) and Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola (second right) during a ceremony at Jesus College in Cambridge, where the looted Benin bronze, known as the Okukur, is set to be returned to Nigeria. 

The Legacy of Slavery Working Party concluded that the statue, which was looted by British colonial forces in the 1897 invasion of the then Kingdom of Benin and given to Jesus College in 1905 by the father of a student, "belongs with the current Oba at the Court of Benin". 

The sculpture was one of the hundreds of Benin Bronzes that were pillaged from the once-mighty kingdom, located in what is now Nigeria.

They are among Africa’s most culturally significant artefacts and Nigerian authorities have been calling for years for their return.

The return of the sculpture by Jesus College, part of Cambridge University, sets a precedent that will put pressure on other institutions to return stolen artefacts.

The college described the handover as “the first institutional return of its kind”.

Germany has agreed to start returning Benin Bronzes held in its museums in 2022, but the British Museum in London, which holds the largest and most significant collection of them, has made no such commitment.

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