Museum Security Network

TEN ESSENTIAL POINTS ON THE CONTINUED DETENTION OF THE BENIN BRONZES BY EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN MUSEUMS

The following are some of the essential points about the Benin bronzes that the reader must know and always bear in mind when reading about the looted cultural artefacts now in European and American museums.

1. Thousands of beautiful and fine Benin art objects were stolen by the British in 1897 when they illegally invaded Benin City, executed some nobles, exiled the Oba (King) and burnt the city.

2. The stolen Benin objects were sold by the British to individuals and to European and American museums, including: British Museum, London, Ethnology Museum, Berlin, Ethnology Museum, Vienna and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.

3. The people of Benin (Edo) and Nigeria have fewer of these objects than the European and American museums that refuse to lend or return any of the pieces they keep in depots and basements.

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