The German Government has declared that it is on a restitution mission to Nigeria to return all artefacts taken from the Benin Empire taken from the Benin Royal Court following the British incursion in 1849. This was made known at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.
Present at the meeting were Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and a German Government delegation. At the meeting, Germany agreed to return all Nigeria stolen artefacts by 2021. The German Director-General Culture and Communication, Dr Andreas Gorgen said the country has resolved to partner with Nigeria in the area of culture promotion and preservation. “We want to contribute to understanding and reconciliation with the descendants of those whose cultural treasures were stolen during colonization,” she said. Hence, it acknowledges that Nigeria has suffered a loss following the taking of the artefacts over 170 years ago.
It was gathered that over 500 artefacts from the Kingdom of Benin, mostly bronzes are tucked in Berlin’s Ethnologisches Museum. According to reports gathered, the artefacts are to be returned to Benin, Edo State capital.