Germany To Return Looted Benin Bronzes To Nigeria

May 19, 2021
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The government of the Federal Republic of Germany has reiterated its commitment to return some of the famed Benin Bronzes that were looted from Nigeria in the 19th century.

At the moment, about 500 of the plundered artifacts are on display in several German museums.

Speaking during a meeting with the German delegation on the repatriation of Benin antiquities in Abuja on Tuesday, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, recalled that in 2019 the federal government decided to raise the stakes on the issue.

Alhaji Mohammed said the global campaign has started yielding fruits.

“I, in my capacity as the Minister of Information and Culture, addressed a world press conference in Lagos to signal Nigeria’s resolve to seek the repatriation of all our artefacts from around the world. I must say
that this global campaign has started yielding fruits, with the spate of return of Nigerian artefacts by several countries,” he said.

The Minister said he believes that after the follow-up visit by an enlarged German delegation, the pace of the much-expected return of Nigerian antiquities from Germany will be quickened.

Speaking earlier, the director-general, Culture Communications, Federal Foreign Office, Andreas Gorgen, said Germany acknowledged the significant efforts of the Nigerian government and efforts made by Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, for the repatriation of Nigerian artifacts.

“We testify our willingness to restitute the objects, the restitution that will lead to their return. The time has come to renovate the museums and we will join forces together with the Nigerian government to co-build a center for the return of archeological artifacts where repatriated artifacts would be kept,” he said.

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