Log in
Log in
Or log in with
GoogleGoogle
Twitter Twitter
Facebook Facebook
Apple Apple     
Sign up
Or log in with
GoogleGoogle
Twitter Twitter
Facebook Facebook
Apple Apple     
News
All NewsCompaniesIndexesCurrency / ForexCommoditiesCryptocurrenciesETFInterest RatesEconomyThemesSectors 

Germany hands first of Benin Bronzes back to Nigeria

07/02/2022 | 04:40am EDT
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the return of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

BERLIN (Reuters) - German authorities on Friday returned to Nigeria the first two of more than 1,100 priceless sculptures known as the Benin Bronzes that were looted by Europeans in the 19th century.

British soldiers looted some 5,000 of the artifacts - intricate sculptures and plaques dating back to the 13th century onwards - when they invaded the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now southwestern Nigeria, in 1897.

The spoils made it into museums around Europe and the United States.

"This is a story of European colonialism. We should not forget that Germany played an active role in this chapter of history," said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at a Berlin ceremony marking the transfer.

The first two bronzes, one depicting the head of a king, the other showing a king and his four attendants, will be taken back personally by Nigerian Foreign Minister Zubairu Dada and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, who were present at the ceremony.

"I am delighted to be part of this auspicious event which, in my opinion, will go down as one of the most important days in the celebration of African cultural heritage," said Dada.

Germany's decision to carry out one of the largest ever repatriations of historic artifacts reflects a dawning awareness in Europe of the continuing political relevance of colonial looting and violence in the past.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has sought to rally emerging countries in opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a task complicated by a view, widespread in the Global South, that anger at the invasion is hypocrisy on the part of former imperialists who themselves have episodes of violence and pillage in their past.

"We acknowledge the horrific outrages committed under colonial rule," said Culture Minister Claudia Roth. "We acknowledge the racism and slavery ... the injustice and trauma that have left scars that are still visible today."

Germany will help finance a museum to be built in Benin City to house the repatriated bronzes.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt)


© Reuters 2022
Latest news "Economy"
09:21aIreland says talks with Britain in "a different space" now
RE
09:21aInstant View: Sept payrolls beat gives Fed room to stay aggressive
RE
09:19aCanada gains 21,100 jobs in September, jobless rate falls to 5.2%
RE
09:19aEuro zone bond yields rise after strong U.S. jobs data
RE
09:15aThailand killer: police depict a man stressed by job loss, money and family troubles
RE
09:12aIrish minister says election in N. Ireland will make trade protocol an issue again
RE
09:09aIndia's forex reserves decline to over two-year low
RE
09:06aCanada Unemployment Rate Slips to 5.2% in September
DJ
09:06aU.S. adds dozens of Chinese firms to export control list
RE
08:59aChip stocks slide as Samsung, AMD expect steep fall in demand
RE
Latest news "Economy"