Benin Bronzes: Germany to return looted artefacts to Nigeria – BBC News

Germany has agreed to return to Nigeria priceless artefacts that were stolen during the colonisation of Africa.
British troops looted thousands of artworks known as the Benin Bronzes from the Kingdom of Benin, in present-day Nigeria, in 1897.
Following auctions, some of the bronzes ended up in museums and private collections across Europe.
They hold deep cultural significance, and there is growing international pressure to give them back.
Berlin's Ethnologisches Museum holds more than 500 artefacts from the Kingdom of Benin, most of them bronzes.
"We want to contribute to understanding and reconciliation with the descendants of those whose cultural treasures were stolen during colonisation," German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said on Thursday, adding that the first returns were expected to take place in 2022.
Scotland's University of Aberdeen said last month it would repatriate a Benin bronze whose acquisition in 1957 at an auction it called "extremely immoral".
Last year, France approved the restitution of its collection of pillaged Benin Bronzes.
Hundreds of pieces are still held in the British Museum and several museums in the United States.
There are plans to house the returned artefacts in the forthcoming Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA). The project is a joint effort between the Nigeria-based Legacy Restoration Trust, the British Museum and architecture firm Adjaye Associates.
The Benin Bronzes – thousands of brass, bronze and ivory sculptures and carvings – have become highly charged symbols of colonialism and .
More than 900 of these artefacts are housed in the British Museum, which has come under increasing pressure to return them in the wake of last year's Black Lives Matter protests.
The British Museum has told the BBC that it is "committed to facilitating a permanent display of Benin material" in Edo, but has not specified how many items would be returned, adding "the selection of objects will be determined through discussion with our Nigerian colleagues".
Historians say Benin City, formerly known as Edo, boasted earthen walls longer than the Great Wall of China.
It was also said to be one of the first cities with a form of street lighting.
British troops razed the whole city to the ground in 1897 to avenge the killing of an earlier force.
What do you know about Africa's 'looted treasures'?
The art dealer, the £10m bronze and the Holocaust
A brief guide to Nigeria
US under pressure over Afghan evacuation deadline
France, the UK and Germany all raise the possibility of troops staying beyond the end of August.
PM to urge world leaders to step up Afghan support
No-fly evacuee flown to UK during Kabul operation
Shot in the head, left for dead, now a Wetherspoons star
How to keep your cool when the office heats up
From earrings to tiles – what you can do with plastic waste. Video
VR helps Indians and Pakistanis visit their lost homes. Video
Zambia's new president inspires African opposition leaders
Your guide to Paralympic classification
How the world's oldest hat shop survived lockdown. Video
A 'different' Games but Paralympians hope to shine
Destroying relationships and endangering lives
How coronavirus conspiracy theories are spilling over from online into the real world
From gang life to the face of British sprinting
Darren Campbell led a double life, but how did he turn it around?
Three dead and two arrested after M25 collision1
Man arrested as Katie Price taken to hospital2
No-fly evacuee flown to UK during Kabul operation3
Proud Boys leader sentenced to five months in jail4
Love Island crowns winners on summer return5
Kabul airlift deadline amid Taliban 'red line'6
Kamala Harris condemns China, deflects from Kabul7
Record number of migrants cross Channel in a day8
Shot in the head, left for dead, now a Wetherspoons star9
US under pressure over Afghan evacuation deadline10
A first look at gripping new drama Vigil. iPlayer
She knew it was wrong… iPlayer
'Why are we soooo obsessed?' iPlayer
Breathtaking insight into a rare world. iPlayer
© 2021 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.