The University of England, Aberdeen University said he would return Benin Bronze to Nigeria for years after the British authority looted the statue.
The UK University conducted disclosure in a statement released on Thursday March 25. The school also revealed that they had previously repatrized sacred items and permanent ancestors to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The bronze statue which showed oba (king) Benin was acquired by the University in 1957 at auction, and was believed to be a good example of the art of the Benin Final Period.
British troops have stolen thousands of metal and ivory statues and carvings during the Benin City invasion in 1897. They are sold to museums, given as gifts to museums or sales at the auction / dealer.
Furthermore, it was learned that the University of Aberdeen began a step to restore the stolen statue through Professor Bankole Sodipo, Professor of Law at Babcock University, Nigeria and the National Commission on Nigeria Museum and Monument through his legal counsel, Babatunde Adebiyi, The Edo Adebiyi Government through the Attorney General and Commissioner Justice, Professor Yinka Osomorbe and Royal Court of the Oba Benin through Prince Professor Gregory Akenzua in 2020.
Statement released by the Reading University;
The University of Aberdeen is to return a Benin bronze, the first-ever fully repatriated to Nigeria by a museum. The University announced it would return the sculpture more than 125 years after it was looted by British forces.
An ongoing review of the collections identified the Head of an Oba as having been 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,” the school said as it became the first institution to agree to the full repatriation from a museum of a Benin bronze.
It would not have been right to have retained an item of such great cultural importance that was acquired in such reprehensible circumstances.
We, therefore, decided that an unconditional return is the most appropriate action we can take, and are grateful for the close collaboration with our partners.
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