US Returns 23 Looted Artefacts To Nigeria

US Returns 23 Looted Artefacts To Nigeria



The United States has also returned 23 pieces of looted artefacts to the Nigeria. The Benin Bronzes were handed over to a Nigerian delegation at a ceremony on Tuesday in Washington. The Nigeria’s Minister of Information and the Culture Lai Mohammed, who received the artefacts, hailed the US and its institutions for the repatriation of


the highly-cherished cultural artworks. These artefacts are intrinsic to the culture that produced them. A people ought not be denied the works of their forebears. It is in the light of this that we are also delighted with today’s repatriation, he said. The information ministry said the returned artefacts comprise 21 from the Smithsonian





and one each from the National Gallery of Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design. The repatriation is part of a bilateral cultural property agreement to prevent illegal import into the US of some categories of the Nigerian artefacts. Lonnie G. Bunch III, the secretary of the Smithsonian, said that the institution was humbled and



honoured to play a small role in transferring ownership of the art works to Nigeria, based on ethical consideration. The items were part of thousands of artworks known as the Benin Bronzes stolen from the Benin Kingdom in the present-day Nigeria by British colonialists in the 1897. The items were then distributed to various museums and institutions across Europe and the US. Nigeria is set to



receive more of such artefacts from The Netherlands, the University of Aberdeen in the Scotland, Mexico, the University of Cambridge in the UK and Germany. The West African country says that it will soon launch an international traveling exhibition with the artefacts in a manner that will win more friends and promote greater goodwill for Nigeria and the ethnic groups that produced [them].