The movement follows the trend of other countries repatriating monuments looted during the colonial period to their origins.
In 1897, fragments were removed from the Kingdom of Benin, which controlled the area by British troops – from present-day southwestern Nigeria.
Plaques with busts and sculptures from the 16th and 18th centuries adorned the royal palace in Benin, in fact they were made of a copper alloy – not bronze, as the name implies.
Germany’s foreign and cultural ministries have issued a joint statement in which they say they support “maximum transparency” in the restructuring process.
“We want to contribute to the common understanding and reconciliation with the descendants of people who lost their cultural treasures during the colonial period,” the note said.
The Museum of Ethnology in Berlin holds more than 500 historical artifacts from the Kingdom of Benin, most of which are bronze.
After the British plunder, the sculptures were sold and spread to many companies around the world – from New Zealand to the United States. The largest collection is in London.
Last month, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland announced the recall of one of the bronze pieces (This explains this statement) To Nigeria in the coming weeks.
At the end of 2020, France agreed to return 26 pieces plundered in 1892 in the former Kingdom of Benin.
Nigeria wants to build a new museum to display precious bronze – the building is expected to be ready by the end of 2024 and will cost 3.4 million euros (approximately $ 22 million).
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