Nigeria received 22 looted artifacts from the German government, as part of the official repatriation of 1,130 Benin bronzes taken away by European countries from the West African country over 120 years ago.
Germany found it imperative to return the bronzes to where they belong after they were looted by the British colonists over 120 years ago, German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday while handing over the 22 looted artifacts to her Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama.
Nigeria’s plea to have the looted bronzes returned was ignored for a very long time, said the German official, calling the decision to return the stolen artifacts a move aimed at righting “a wrong”, because officials from Germany once bought the bronzes knowing they had been “robbed and stolen.”
Baerbock said Germany would be funding the construction of an art pavilion in the southern Nigerian state of Edo, where the historical kingdom of Benin was located.
Onyeama said Germany and Nigeria had set a standard for the rest of the world to follow, noting the Nigerian government was excited to have the artifacts back which truly belong to the most populous African nation.