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June 17, 2024

Germany to return 1,130 stolen Benin Bronzes to Nigeria 

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Nigeria and Germany on Friday signed an agreement in Berlin  for the return of 1,130 Benin Bronzes.

The Minister and Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada signed for Nigeria while the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock and Minister of State for Culture and Media, Claudia Roth signed for Germany.

Mohammed, noting that Germany did not colonize Nigeria and was not part of the looting of the artefacts, said the artefacts were looted from the ancient Benin Kingdom during the Benin Expedition of 1897 by the British force.

The Nigerian government said many bronzes got to Germany through trade and donations.

“By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past”, Mohammed said after the signing.

“It was wrong to take the bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong”, Baerbock added.

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