Germany Signs Deal To Return Benin Bronzes To Nigeria

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Germany and Nigeria on Friday signed an agreement paving the way for the return of hundreds of artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes that were taken from Africa more than 120 years ago

The first two artworks, the head of a king and a plaque depicting three warriors, make it the biggest effort yet by a European country to return the looted artworks.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Culture Minister Claudia Roth of Germany, signed the deal with their Nigerian counterparts in Berlin on Friday after the country first announced that it would begin returning the bronzes last year.

Following the signing, Minister of Culture, Lai Mohammed, thanked Germany for having “taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past”, hailing “the dawn of a new era of cooperation”.

Also speaking at the signing, the German minister, Baerbock said “Today we have reason to celebrate because we have reached a historic agreement, the Benin bronzes are returning home.

“These pieces are not only magnificent artefacts, they are some of Africa’s greatest treasures. But they are also telling a story of colonial violence,” she said.

Thousands of Benin bronzes, metal plaques and sculptures that once decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin are now scattered around European museums after being looted by the British at the end of the 19th century.

Negotiations are still ongoing as to which of the bronzes held by the Ethnological Museum will be returned to Nigeria, and which will remain in Berlin on loan.



Abisola Adebayo is a Reporter/Presenter/Social Media Manager for Tv360Nigeria. She is a first class graduate of the department of Mass Communication at Fountain University, Osogbo. Abisola is currently running her Masters Degree at the University of Lagos. The Social Media savvy young lady is ambitious and driven, likes trying new things and sets new goals for herself. Always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness.


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