NIGERIA RECOVERS LOOTED BENIN BRONZES AFTER 125-YEARS

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On Tuesday at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Germany handed 22 Benin Bronzes which were looted 125 years ago from Benin to the Nigerian Government.

The government of Germany was represented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock and Minister of State for Culture, Claudia Roth. 

Speaking on the occasion, Annalena Baerbock expressed the wrong which they have committed by taking the artifacts which she described as what tells stories of Nigerian history. In her words, she said: “we are here to right the wrong, it was wrong to take and also keep them”.

The Minister of State for Culture also said at the ceremony that “Nigeria was denied this heritage for 125 years” and she promised that more Benin Bronzes will return to where they belong. She however, pleaded to Nigeria to consider lending some of the artifacts to German museums.

The Nigerian Government has made plans to embark on infrastructural development where these recovered artifacts will be kept. This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed in his opening speech at the ceremony.

He also commended the German Government for staying true to their words.

In addition, Lai Mohammed also used the medium to appreciate other countries that have responded to the return of African artifacts, making mention of the Netherlands which in October 2020 returned a 600-year Ife Terracotta.

Among others include the University of Aberdeen and Jesus College of the University of Cambridge for returning the Benin Bronzes, the Metropolitan Museum in New York which returned Ife and Benin Bronzes.

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