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Some of the looted goods primed to be given back to Nigeria include a bronze cockerel called “Okukor,” which is currently housed at Cambridge University.In 2016, the university removed the statuette from their dining hall after a group of students petitioned for it to be sent back to Nigeria.The sculptures included a ninth-century depiction of the head of the king, and 16th-century plaques of life in the royal palace.
century, Britain sought to wipe out the kingdom of Benin in what became known as the “punitive expedition.” When Oba Ovonramwen, then ruler of Benin, imposed customs duties on goods leaving the territory, Britain sent 1,200 soldiers to destroy the kingdom as a form of reparations for the colonial power.
About one-third of the artifacts were stone tools, with another third comprising fossilized animal skeletons.
The species the researchers could identify from the fossilized remains included rabbits, sheep, donkeys, rhinoceroses, bears and birds.
Former curator of the National Museum in Lagos, John Picton, said while the moral case for the return of the Benin’s bronze was “indisputable,” there was a risk that removing them from European museums would take African art out of world art history.
This isn’t the first time conversations about Benin’s stolen bronze artifacts has taken place.