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Germany To Return Stolen Bronzes From Nigeria

Germany To Return Stolen Bronzes From Nigeria 

Germany has reached an agreement to return Nigeria’s stolen Bronzes.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

A deal to return some of Nigeria’s Benin Bronzes to Germany has just been signed. In the nineteenth century, these bronzes were initially brought from the African country. Attempts to repatriate African artifacts have been made by other European nations. Over 70 cultural objects from Benin that were forcefully removed under the military regime in 1897 will be returned to Nigeria, according to a British museum’s announcement earlier this month.

The Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage (SPK) and Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments came to an agreement on Thursday, August 25, according to reports from Aljazeera (NCMM). Around 90% of Africa’s cultural legacy, according to experts, may be found in museums and storage facilities in Europe. In the early 20th century, numerous European institutions competed with one another to see who had the largest collection of African historical artifacts.

These competitions allegedly existed in smaller museums like the Linde Museum in Stuttgart as well as larger museums in places like Berlin and London. French President Emmanuel Macron said this year that France will restore 26 of Benin’s antiques that were taken from a royal house in Abomey, now Southern Benin, in 1892, marking the first significant restitution to Africa by a former European colonial state.

Africans struggled for more than a century to reclaim custody of the plundered objects while they were kept in museums around Europe and the United States, but it is now difficult to bring them home.

The deal states that some of the items would be returned to Nigeria this year and that many others will be kept in Germany’s custody as a loan for another ten years or more. Professor Abba Isa Tijani of Nigeria, who also serves as the NCMM’s supervisory director general, hailed this as a great move in the right direction and urged other museums that house African items to take Germany’s lead.

Tijani said,“This represents the future concerning the artifacts issue; a future of collaboration among museums, a future of according respect and dignity to the legitimate requests of other nations and traditional institutions,”

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