Germany to Return Looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

German cultural and political leaders have reached a deal to return the artefacts to Nigeria next year. The ancient artworks were plundered in the 19th century and are currently on display in German museums. Most of the artefacts were looted by British forces during a military expedition to the kingdom, in what is now Nigeria, in 1897. Most European former colonial powers have begun a process in recent years of considering the return of looted artefacts to the former colonies, especially in Africa. In March, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland agreed to return a Benin Bronze sculpture to Nigeria, saying it was acquired by British soldiers in 1897 in "reprehensible circumstances." Nigeria plans to build a museum in Benin city to house the looted artefacts after they are returned. 90% of Africa's cultural heritage currently lies outside the continent. Pressure has mounted on former colonial powers to return all artwork to their places of origin.

The Benin Bronzes in the British Museum.

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