Home Artifacts Cambridge University to return looted bronze statue in Nigeria

Cambridge University to return looted bronze statue in Nigeria


The college removed it from public view in 2016 after students protested, saying it was a colonial narrative. The college set up a task force to examine the legacy of slavery, and the group concluded that the statue “belongs to the current Oba at the court of Benin”.

The Oba of Benin is the head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Empire of Benin, centered on Benin City in present-day Nigeria.

The college said on Friday it would hand over the statue to the Nigerian National Commission on Museums and Monuments at a ceremony in Cambridge on October 27.

His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, said he was “indeed very happy and congratulated Jesus College for taking the initiative to restore the looting which took place in Benin in 1897 “.

“We really hope that others will speed up the return of our works of art, which in many cases have religious significance to us,” he said.

Thousands of artifacts were looted after British Imperial troops occupied Benin City in 1897.

Hundreds of bronzes ended up in the British Museum in London, and hundreds more were sold to other collections such as the Ethnological Museum in Berlin. Germany has said it will return the items in its possession.

The British Museum has said it is not currently considering returning any part of its collection.

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