Germany returns Benin artefacts to Nigeria in October
Germany returns Benin artefacts to Nigeria in October, Germany is scheduled to repatriate 7,000 antiques stolen from the Benin Kingdom to Nigeria by October, according to the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Permanent Secretary Gabriel Aduda made the announcement at the Cultural Centre, Nigeria House in New York, during the inaugural Nigerian cultural display showcasing Nigeria’s unique cultural history, locations, and traditional festivals.
Aduda further stated that the artefacts would be repaired in conjunction with the construction of an ultramodern museum in Edo State and the training of curators to manage the items.
He stated that Nigeria and Germany had progressed in their negotiations to repatriate tens of thousands of pieces of Benin bronzes to Nigeria.
“We’re working with relevant MDAs, we’ve had multiple high-level discussions with the Republic of Germany, and we’re nearing the point where thousands of artworks will be returned to Nigeria,” he said.
“The Republic of Germany wants to give back to Nigeria around 7,000 distinct pieces of antiques.
“We’ve talked a lot about it, and the reparation isn’t just about giving back; they’re coming to build a modern museum in Edo State, and they’re training 25 curators to run it for the long term.
“We’ve come a long way, and we believe we’ll be done by October of this year. We’re hoping it will serve as a bridge to other European countries, allowing us to reclaim what was taken from us years ago.”
The permanent secretary praised the Consulate-General in New York for opening a cultural center and library in April, which is stocked with books, cultural artifacts, research materials, and historical papers on Nigeria.
“I feel that we will leave this event with a better understanding of our country,” he said, adding that participants were part of history as the cultural center hosted its inaugural cultural display. Also, with a newfound respect for our rich and unique ancestral heritage, which has served as the backbone of our nation’s togetherness.
“Your interest and participation in our storytelling today has encouraged us, and I ask you to visit Nigeria later this year to experience these festivals.”
According to Aduda, the Argungu International Fishing Festival and the Osun-Osogbo Festival, both of which were promoted at the event, are only two of Nigeria’s many festivals.
Senator Robert Jackson of New York advised black people to be proud of their race and culture in his remarks.
“How do you expect other people to do it for us if we aren’t proud of our race and culture?” I came to be a part of the cultural event and to learn about Nigeria’s rich culture,” he explained.
Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board, also spoke, saying that culture was a valuable weapon for development that should not be overlooked, as colonial masters did.
As Africa rewrites its narratives and begins to identify the capacities God has implanted in its population, Ncube said the board is open to engaging like-minded stakeholders.
The topic of the event was “Nigeria: Our Community, Cultures, and Unity,” and it included cultural dance troupes, musical performances, and traditional fashion displays from Nigeria.