ARTS: British university to return looted Benin bronze to Nigeria


Britain’s soldiers seized thousands of metal castings and sculptures from the kingdom of Benin, then separate from British-ruled Nigeria in 1897.

Aberdeen university on Thursday said “they would return a Benin Bronze to Nigeria within weeks , the sculpture of an oba , or ruler of the Kingdom of Benin , had left Nigeria in an “extremely immoral ” fashion leading to reaching out to authorities in 2019 on it’s return.

Aberdeen’s head of museum and special collections, Neil Curtis, said , the Bronze purchased in 1957, had been “blatantly looted”

“It became clear we had to do something”, Curtis said.

Professor Abba Isa Tijani, director general of Nigeria’s national museum and monuments, said “the importance of displaying the bronze inside Nigeria for the first time is more than 120 years inexpressible. It is part of our identify and heritage, which was taken away many years , Tijani said.