The Federal Government of Nigeria has demanded the unconditional return of the 1,130 Benin Bronzes that were taken from the country, sometime in the 19th century to German museums.
This decision by the federal government was disclosed yesterday by the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Berlin, Germany, during his meetings with the German minister of State for Culture, Prof. Monika Grutters, and the German Foreign Minister, Mr. Heiko Maas.
Prof. Grutters had revealed that Germany was ready to make a ‘substantial return’ of the looted artefacts, however, Minister Mohammed, who led the Nigerian delegation stated clearly that the artefacts should be returned in full.
The Nigerian minister also said that the controversy with the place of origin of the artefacts should not delay the return of the artefacts.
He said: ‘’That they are known as Benin Bronzes is already a confirmation of their source of origin (which is Benin).’’
Mohammed said the ongoing discussion between Nigeria and Germany, concerning the return of the looted artworks will serve as not just the end of an era, but the beginning of a stronger relationship and cultural diplomacy between both countries.
Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who was a member of the delegation, said that a ‘’transformational’’ museum is currently being built in the state capital, Benin city, to accommodate the artefacts to be returned.
Source: Leadership Nigeria
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