Commemorative head of a king (Kingdom of Benin, dated 17th-18th Century, made of copper alloy), one of the African artworks exhibited in the Bode Museum under the theme “Beyond Compare”, December 2018. Thousands of African artworks are in the possession of European museums, most of which were taken illegally from the continent during the era of colonialism/ Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Germany names date to return Nigerian artefacts

Germany has agreed to return all Benin artefacts by 2022.

The artefacts are those taken from the Benin Royal Court following the British incursion in 1849.

This was announced on Tuesday at a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The event was attended by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; and the German delegation.

At the meeting, the German Director-General Culture and Communication, Dr Andreas Gorgen said Germany acknowledges that Nigeria has suffered a loss.

He said Germany is on a restitution mission to Nigeria, to return all artefacts taken from the Benin Empire.

He also announced that Germany will partner with Nigeria in the area of culture promotion and preservation

The artefacts are to be returned to Benin, Edo State capital.

German museums agreed in April to return the art treasures to Nigeria next year. The agreement was reached after an online meeting of a group of museum experts and political leaders with the German federal government.

Kola Tella

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