THE University of Aberdeen in Scotland is to return a Benin bronze sculpture to Nigeria, saying it was acquired by British soldiers in 1897 in “reprehensible circumstances,” AFP reports.
It is the first institution to agree to the full repatriation from a museum of Benin bronze, raising pressure on other establishments, including the British Museum, to follow suit.
The university acquired the bronze sculpture depicting an “Oba” (king) of Benin at auction in 1957, and it is considered a classic example of Benin Late Period Art.
It was originally taken in 1897, when a British military expedition attacked and destroyed Benin City, looting thousands of metal and ivory sculptures and carvings, known as the Benin bronzes from the royal palace.
Benin city, in present-day Southern Nigeria, was the seat of a powerful West African kingdom at the time.
The university called it “one of the most notorious examples of the pillaging of cultural treasures associated with 19th century European colonial expansion.
“It would not have been right to have retained an item of such great cultural importance that was acquired in such reprehensible circumstances,” said university vice-chancellor George Boyne.
Neil Curtis, head of museums and special collections, said a review of its collections identified the work “as having been acquired in a way that we now consider to have been extremely immoral. So we took a proactive approach to identify the appropriate people to discuss what to do.”
A panel of academic specialists and curators unanimously recommended its return to Nigeria and the university’s governing body supported the unconditional return.
Reacting to the development, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and culture, Lai Mohammed called the move a “step in the right direction” and urged other holders of Nigerian antiquity to emulate University of Aberdeen.
BBNaija: Nini gives reasons why she turned down Yousef’s .
BBNaija ; Nini has given reasons why she turned down Yousef’s love interest in her. Yousef had revealed that...
Videos from Bobrisky’s 30th birthday party
Popular crossdresser, Bobrisky held his 30th birthday party yesterday August 31, in Lagos. Highlights from the birthday party include Fuji...
SIJUADE RAJI TAOHEED (ZOBO): A VISIONARY LEADER WITH AN UNCOMMON AMELIORATION AGENDA
SIJUADE RAJI TAOHEED (ZOBO): A VISIONARY LEADER WITH AN UNCOMMON AMELIORATION AGENDA _”Between stimulus and response, there is a space....
Eid Il Fitr: FPE Alumni President Felicitates With Muslims
Eid Il Fitr: FPE Alumni President Felicitates With Muslims May 13, 2021 The National President of Federal Polytechnic...
Face Of Osun State 2021 Unveil Winners, Releases Stunning Photos
A beautiful Student of Osun state, Obafemi Awolowo University osun state, Queen Bakare Hasiat who emerged the winner Face...