Benin Bronze: Oba of Benin receive stolen artefacts

Oba of Benin receive Bronze

Reuters

Afta more dan 100 years wey British goment cari some Nigeria artefacts waka go Europe, dem don return two of di Benin bronzes to di Benin kingdom on Saturday.

Di Oba of Benin palace organise one colourful ceremony to mark di return of di Fowl sculpture and sculpture head of one Oba.

Dis move don raise hopes say Europeans go return more of di artefacts dem wey dey dia hand to dia ancestral home.

For di party wey dem use celebrate di return of di cockerel sculpture and head of Oba, tok-tok pesin for di Oba of Benin Palace Charles Edosonmwan tok say some of di bronzes dey for far away New Zealand, United States and Japan.

“Dem no be ordinary art, na di tin wey mark di significance of our spirituality,” Edosonmwan tok for interview.

Di return na anoda milestone for di years-long fight by African countries to recover all di art works wey oyibo pipo tiff, as plenti European institutions dey discuss about di cultural legacies of colonialism.

French Art historians say about 90% of Africa cultural heritage dey for Europe, French art historians estimate.

Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac for Paris alone get around 70,000 African objects and London British Museum get tens of thousands more.

Na colonizers and explorers from Europe na im tiff di artefacts from di Benin Kingdom for Nigeria southeast.

Di Benin Bronzes dey among di most significant heritage objects for Africa.

Na around di 16th century dem create am according to di British Museum.

Benin Bronze sculpture – Interesting facts

Benin Bronze sculpture – Interesting facts

  • Di Bronze na di sculpture of di head of one Oba of Benin Kingdom.
  • Dem take di sculpture from Benin for 1897 afta one military expedition attack and destroy di Benin Kingdom.
  • Di sculpture of di ruler of di Kingdom of Benin, bin comot for Nigeria in an extremely immoral fashion
  • University of Aberdeen say dem buy di Bronze from art dealers for one auction for 1957.
  • Wen returned, Edo State government say dem go keep di Bronze for Edo Museum of West African Art.

History of di artwork and why University of Aberdeen return am

Between di 13th and 19th centuries Benin City na di principal city of di Kingdom of Benin and of di Edo pipo, and dem sab idem for dia artistic traditions to dey cast bronze and carve ivory.

Expansion of British colonial control for di late 19thC bring fight to di Kingdom of Benin. For 1897 British forces attack and destroy Benin City kill many of im inhabitants. Dem burn di royal palace and loot and dem send Oba, Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, comot from di kingdom.

Di British steal thousands of religious and cultural treasures, plus di sculpture wey now dey for University of Aberdeen collection. Many of di soldiers and administrators involve sell di objects to museums or private collectors.

Dem later give others as gifts to museums or dem sell am for auction.

Dem buy dis Head of one Oba sculpture for one auction by a University curator for 1957.

Knowing dis history, to retain dis artwork for dia collection, di university feel say dem go dey support di colonial violence wey bring am to Britain in di first place.

Nigeria Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for 2021, say: “Di reaching out by di University of Aberdeen and eventual release of di priceless antiquity na step in di right direction.2

Im say other pipo wey hold Nigerian antiquity suppose dis to bring fairness to di burning issue of repatriation.