- Artefacts taken from Benin will be returned by 2022
- This promise was made to Nigeria by the German government on Tuesday, May 18
- The German government said the artefacts will be returned to Benin, the capital of Edo
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During a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, May 18, a German delegation promised the federal government that all Benin artefacts will be returned in 2022.
The promise was made by Dr Andreas Gorgen, the German director-general of culture and communication, Channels TV reports.
Gorgen admitted that the absence of the artefacts means a lot of loss on the part of Nigeria and that the country is on a restitution mission to return all the pieces taken from the Benin Empire.
Moving forward, he noted that Germany will partner with Nigeria for cultural promotion and preservation.
The event was attended by the Nigerian minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Meanwhile, the University of Aberdeen had disclosed plans to return the Benin Bronze, a historical artefact stolen from Nigeria by the colonial imperialists.
The disclosure was made on Thursday, March 25, by Neil Curtis, Aberdeen's head of museums and special collections, who said the Bronze representing an Oba, or ruler of the Kingdom of Benin was "blatantly looted."
Thousands of artworks, sculptures, metal castings and historical artefacts were carted away by British soldiers from the old Benin Kingdom in 1897.
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Curtis said the Bronze, which was later purchased in 1957, was taken out of Nigeria "extremely immoral" way before negotiation for its return was facilitated in 2019.
Speaking on the development, Abba Isa Tijani, a professor and the director-general of Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NNCMM), stated that seeing the historical Bronze inside Nigeria would be a thing of joy.
He maintained further that the bronze represents and symbolises the rich and unique history of Nigeria and its identity.
The NNCMM boss said:
"It's part of our identity, part of our heritage... which has been taken away from us for many years."