Benin bronzes objects are displayed at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday June 29, 2022 . (Bernd Weissbrod/dpa via AP)
BERLIN — Germany and Nigeria are set to sign an agreement in Berlin Friday paving the way for the return of centuries-old sculptures known as the Benin Bronzes that were taken from Africa in the 19th century and displayed in German museums and elsewhere.
Governments and museums in Europe and North America have increasingly sought to resolve ownership disputes over objects that were looted during colonial times.
A British colonial expedition stole the bas-relief Bronzes along with a vast number of other treasures in 1897 from the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, in what’s now southern Nigeria.
The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, an authority that oversees many of Berlin’s museums, announced last year that it was beginning formal negotiations on returning pieces that are in its collection. Many of them date from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
The memorandum of understanding will be signed by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Culture Minister Claudia Roth, as well as Nigeria’s Culture Minister Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairo Dada.
Final details of the restitution have yet to be announced, but the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation says it expects to keep some of the Bronzes on loan from Nigeria.
The Smithsonian removed 10 Benin Bronze pieces from display at its National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., and announced a new ethical return policy this year. Other U.S. museums have also begun discussions about returning such objects, while France declared last year that it would return the so-called Abomey Treasures to Benin as part of a wider effort to make amends for colonial wrongs.
Many of the objects remain in the British Museum, which has resisted calls to return them.
A mother and her 14-year-old daughter are advocating for better protections for victims after AI-generated nude images of the teen and other female classmates were circulated at a high school in New Jersey.
NANTES, France (AP) — A supporter from Nantes died on Saturday following a fight that took place before the club's 1-0 win over Nice in the latest outbreak of violence to mar French soccer this season.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Saturday attempted to turn the tables on his likely rival in November, President Joe Biden, arguing that the man whose election victory Trump tried to overturn is “the destroyer of American democracy.
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In