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  HOME PAGE 15/08/2022 01:42 
02.07.2022 02:27 News >> Nigeria Hails Germany As Joint Declaration On Return Of Benin Bronzes Signed

Nigeria Hails Germany As Joint Declaration On Return Of Benin Bronzes Signed

‘This is the beginning to right the wrong,’ says German foreign minister.

Nigeria and Germany signed a historic declaration Friday in Berlin that will pave the way for the return of 1,130 Benin Bronze artifacts to Nigeria.
The deal comes 125 years after the pieces were looted from the ancient Benin Kingdom during the Benin Expedition of 1897.
Nigerian Foreign Minister Ambassador Dada Dada called Germany the "champion of justice and fairness."
"It was wrong to take the (Benin) bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong," said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Special Assistant on Media to Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed thanked the government and people of Germany for what he described as the "single largest repatriation of artifacts anywhere in the world," in remarks before a signing.
"We also want to most sincerely thank the authorities of the various German regions, cities, museums and institutions that have been working in concert to ensure the manifestation of the history-making event that we are witnessing today. By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past," he said in a statement made available to Anadolu Agency.
German Minister of State for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth said her country did not colonize Nigeria and was not part of the looting of the artifacts. She said many of the Benin Bronzes in German public institutions got there via trade and donations.
"Yet, Germany and the great people of this nation decided it is better to shape the future by correcting the ills of the past. I do not doubt in my mind that this pace-setting action by the Federal Government of Germany will become a harbinger of more repatriation of cultural property to their place of origin, as other museums and institutions are expected to take a cue from what Germany has done," she said. "Germany has gained more friends in Nigeria and all over the world by returning to Nigeria what rightfully belongs to it."
In a symbolic gesture signifying the impending return of the artifacts, two of the artifacts were handed to Nigeria at the ceremony. -



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