- The German ministry of culture has promised to return some of the stolen artefacts back to Nigeria starting from next year, saying it is of "personal concern"
- The assurance was given following the federal government's demand for the "unconditional" release of thousands of Benin Bronzes stolen
- Some of the artefacts are currently domiciled in various museums in Germany since the 19th century when they were stolen from Nigeria
The Nigerian government has demanded the return of some of the historical artefacts including 1,130 Benin Bronzes stolen from the country in the 19th century by the Germans.
This appeal was made by Nigeria's information and culture minister Lai Mohammed during a meeting on Wednesday, July 7, in Berlin, The Punch reports.
Addressing the German state minister of culture, Monika Grutters, and the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, in a separate meeting, Mohammed demanded a “full and unconditional” return of the artefacts saying there is no controversy over their origin.
The information minister said negotiation should be fastened to the effect of returning the looted Benin Bronzes back to Nigeria.
What was said
Legit.ng notes that prior to the Nigerian minister’s appeal, the German state minister for culture had said Germany would release some of the artefacts.
Grutter said the repatriation of the relics are of “personal concern” as it is important to deal with the issue of Benin Bronzes as important to addressing Germany's "colonial past.”
The minister assured Nigeria that the 1,130 artefacts “would be returned to Nigeria from the beginning of 2022.”
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Britain set to return Nigeria's Benin Bronze
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the University of Aberdeen 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.