London museum agrees to return collection of stolen Benin Bronzes and art to Nigeria

"Benin Bronzes 4" by Son of Groucho is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Benin Bronzes 4” by Son of Groucho is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

A museum in London announced today it has agreed to return dozens of historic African artifacts, including precious Benin Bronzes, brass and art to the Nigerian government where they were forcefully taken by colonists in the late 19th century.

London’s Horniman Museum said it will return 72 artifacts. This includes 12 brass plaques known as Benin Bronzes that were seized from the Kingdom of Benin by British soldiers in 1897.

It is estimated that thousands of artifacts were looted by British military invaders and eventually spread throughout European museums and the U.S.

The Horniman Museum said Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments requested the return earlier this year.

It is believed that Horniman’s compliance, similar to other European museums last year, could influence the British Museum in London to return its vast collection of Benin Bronzes, believed to the largest collection in Europe.

More about the stolen artifacts can be found here.

, , , , , ,