Nigeria Receives 20 Stolen Benin Bronzes from Germany.

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According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany has returned 20 Benin Bronzes from its museums to Nigeria, making it the most recent European nation to do so.

The handovers are the most obvious indication yet that momentum is building in favour of the return of artefacts that Europeans removed from Africa during the colonial era. Germany had previously agreed to begin returning Benin bronzes from its museums.

Germany and Nigeria earlier this year agreed to release all 1,130 Benin Bronzes—actually, copper alloy relief sculptures, many of which feature court figures—in German public museums.

Thousands of metal sculptures and castings were taken by British soldiers in 1897 during a raid on the then-separate Kingdom of Benin. The Bronze’s were auctioned off and then spread among institutions from New Zealand to Germany and the United States, with the biggest collection in London.


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