University of Aberdeen Set to Return Looted Benin Bronze to Nigeria
The University of Aberdeen has disclosed its intentions to return a Benin Bronze to Nigeria, becoming one of the first institutions in Europe to commit to restituting a Benin bronze, century after it was looted by British forces.
According to reports, the Kingdom of Benin reached out to authorities in 2019 to arrange the return of the sculpture of an Oba of the Kingdom.
In a statement, the head of museums and special collections at the university Aberdeen, Neil Curtis said, “the sculpture of the head of an Oba (king) was acquired in a way that we now consider to have been extremely immoral, so we took a proactive approach to identify the appropriate people to discuss what to do”.
“Knowing this history, to retain the artwork for our collection today would be to perpetuate the colonial violence that brought it to Britain in the first place”.
He further stated that the university is making practical arrangements for the return of the sculpture, which will be eventually housed in a new cultural complex designed by David Adjaye in Benin City.
According to Aljazeera report, Germany is also working towards returning 440 Benin Bronzes soon as they noted that returning cultural heritage “is part of an honest approach to colonial history” and “a question of justice.”
Also, the University of Cambridge’s Jesus College has pledged to return one bronze cockerel. The British Museum has formed a Benin Dialogue Group to discuss displaying more of these sculptures in Benin City .