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Nigeria demands unconditional return of looted artefacts from Germany

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Two Benin Bronzes which the Church of England intend to return to Africa / Lambeth Palace

The Nigerian Government has demanded a full and unconditional return of 1,130 Benin Bronzes looted from the African nation in the 19th century and domiciled in German museums.

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the demand in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, during separate meetings with the German Minister of State for Culture, Prof. Monika Grutters, and
the German Foreign Minister, Mr Heiko Maas.

Reacting to comments by Prof. Grutters that Germany was ready to make a ‘substantial return’ of the 1,130 looted artefacts, Alhaji Mohammed, who led the Nigerian delegation to the talks, said the return should be whole rather than substantial.

He also said the issue of provenance, which has to do with the place of origin of the artefacts, should not be allowed to unduly delay the repatriation of the artworks, adding that “they are known as Benin Bronzes is already a confirmation of their source of origin (which is Benin).”

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Benin Bronze
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