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Germany Returns Looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

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Germany has officially handed 22 looted Benin Bronze artifacts back to Nigeria.

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock handed the bronzes to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday.

She said it was wrong for British colonialists to steal them and subsequently sell them to museums around the world.

Today, we are here to return the Benin Bronzes to where they belong, to the people of Nigeria,Baerbock said.

We are here to right a wrong.”

Lai Mohammed who received the looted artifacts on behalf of the Nigerian government commended the German authorities.

Twenty years ago, even 10 years ago, nobody could have anticipated these bronzes returning to Nigeria, because the obstacles to achieving repatriation were seemingly insurmountable, Alhaji Mohammed said. 

But today, with the pioneering gesture of a friendly nation, Germany, the story has changed.

The bronzes were looted in 1897 during Britain’s raid on the ancient Benin Kingdom during which time the Oba of Benin, Oba Ovọnramwẹn Nọgbaisi was dethroned.


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