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Germany to return looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

Access Bank

Precious artifacts that were looted during the colonial era will finally be returned to Nigeria, the German government has announced. The first returns are planned for 2022.

In a joint declaration published Thursday, Germany’s Ministry of Culture, state ministers and museum directors committed to “substantive returns” of Benin bronzes — artworks made of bronze, brass and ivory that were taken by the British army in a raid on the Kingdom of Benin, in present-day Nigeria, in 1897.

The bronzes were subsequently distributed across the world and hundreds are currently held in German museums. Nigeria has sought their return for decades.



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