Museum heads have agreed to return ownership of a treasured collection of looted artefacts to Nigeria, including its Benin Coin, because it is “ethical and appropriate.” must do.
Mr. Horniman Museum said ownership of 72 items looted in 1897 and including 12 bronze plaques known as Benin Bronzes, will be transferred to the Nigerian government.
Eve Salomon, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, south-east London, said: “The evidence is clear that these objects were acquired through force, and by reference. Outside opinions have supported our view that it is both ethical and appropriate to return their ownership to Nigeria. “
A bronze statue of a rooster, ivory and brass ceremonial utensils, bronze bells, everyday items such as fans, baskets and the key “to the king’s palace” are among these items .
The items were taken by the British army from the city of Benin in February 1897.
In January, Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) requested the return of the items.
Horniman then conducted detailed research and contacted community members, visitors, students, academics, heritage professionals and artists based in Nigeria and the UK.
Horniman’s trustees decided to return ownership of the collection and this was given the green light by the Charity Commission, the charity’s regulator, on August 5.
Negotiations are being held with the NCMM about the formal transfer of ownership and the possibility of keeping some of the items on loan for display, research and education.
NCMM Director General, Professor Abba Tijani said: “We very much welcome this decision by the trustees of the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
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“Following the endorsement of the Charity Commission, we look forward to a productive discussion of the loan arrangements and cooperation between the national committee for museums and monuments and Horniman.”
Last month, the Horniman Museum and Gardens were named the Art Foundation’s Museum of the Year.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/museum-to-return-ownership-of-looted-items-as-moral-thing-to-do-41895463.html Museum returning ownership of looted items is the ‘ethical’ thing to do