The Nigerian President’s Order has Delayed the Return of the Benin Bronzes.

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A presidential decree naming a royal ruler as the owner and custodian of all returned artifacts caused a British university to postpone the return of more than 100 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria, according to the head of museums and monuments.

Nigeria is attempting to recover tens of thousands of intricate bronze sculptures and castings that were taken in 1897 during a raid on the then-separate Kingdom of Benin, which is now in southwestern Nigeria, by British troops.

But according to a government publication published on March 28 and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Oba of Benin is the lawful owner of all restituted Benin Bronzes and is in charge of overseeing all locations where the artifacts are stored.

Director General of Nigeria’s National Security, Abba Isa Tijani had planned to return 116 artefacts this month but this was put on hold after the decree started circulating last month.

Reuters.

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