What is Benin Bronze and why are they controversial?

Almost debated last month Benin BronzeIn the 19th century, thousands of goods looted by the British army from the state of Benin took a new turn. Polite stage Berlin said it would begin the process of returning hundreds of Benin bronzes for collection and that a Scottish university had become the first institution in Nigeria to make a formal commitment to return any Benin bronze. Why did the Benin Bronze cause so much controversy and what will happen to them in the years to come? Below, a guide to patterns and their history.

What is Benin Bronze?

Benin Bronze is a group of thousands of materials that were taken from the Benin Kingdom in 1897 to what is now Nigeria. (Their exact number is unknown, although it is thought to be more than 3,000). Contrary to the name, not all work is made of bronze. As a result of the colonial conquest, they crossed West Africa, Benin bronze to Nigeria and beyond.

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How was the Benin bronze taken away?

In 1897 the unarmed British explorer James Phillips visited the Benin Empire. Phillips was welcomed by State Governor Oba Owen Ramwin, who decided to continue the campaign, even though he had been warned not to visit the state during the holy period for members. The chiefs who informed Vanramven believed that Phillips and his expedition would disrupt many events and create controversy. Phillips, many of his missionaries, and 200 African potters died. To avenge his death, the British Empire sent troops to steal the remains from the kingdom and they left with thousands of invaluable items. Some people were given loans British Museum Foreign secretaries of England and British and German institutions as well as private businessmen sold. According to the British Museum’s website, some of the people who took part in the Benin expedition also kept Benin bronze for themselves.

The sixteenth-century Edo Ivory mask was captured by the British Museum.
Trustee of the British Museum

What have Nigerians said about Benin Bronze?

To many Nigerians the Benin bronze colon is a strong reminder of colonialism and its continued impact on African society. Citizens of the country have long called for the return of Benin Bronze, although entities outside its borders are keen to focus on them. In 1977, Festac ’77, a Lagos art event that was headlined as World War Krishna and a festival of African art and culture, once wore a sixteenth-century ivory mask as a symbol of Ober. The British Museum in London has four copies of the most recognizable masks, where they are permanently displayed. Early in the festival, Nigerians began chanting slogans for a return to the front of the British Museum, and when that became impossible, a committee began searching for them. It never happened.

Nigerians continue to claim that museums around the world return their Benin bronze. For example, Lagos- and U.S.-based artist Victor Eickmann wrote A Feelings New York Times Op-ed This article belongs to 2021. His article concludes: “The African generation has already lost countless historical and cultural reference points due to the lack of the best works of art created on the continent. We should no longer ask for what we have.”

Which museum has Benin Bronze?

Companies on several continents have Benin Bronze Group objects, most of which are considered extremely valuable. The British Museum has the largest Benin bronze of any institution in the world, with a collection of 900 objects. Due to the huge collection of Benin bronze, the British Museum has repeatedly been the subject of protests by workers, scholars and artists claiming ownership of the institution’s stolen property. The Ethnographic Museum in Berlin – now part of the newly built Humboldt Forum, part of the research laboratory – has been damaged by the ownership of more than 500 objects from the Benin Bronze Cache, and other essays have claimed it was returned to them. Former owners.

Yet two of the many museums in the world have Benin Bronze. In his 2021 book British Museum: The Benin Bronze, Colonial Colonial Violence and Cultural Recovery, Scholar Dan Hicks has compiled a list of 111 organizations that have won Benin Bronze in various ways. His list includes the Art Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Mus du Quart i Branle-Jack Chirac in Paris, the Vatican Museum. Vatican Museum, Vatican Museum, Museum. According to Hicks, there are 45 teams in the UK and 3 in the US with Benin Bronze, only nine Nigerian teams.

Benin Bronze University of Aberdeen.

Benin Bronze University of Aberdeen.
Courtesy University of Aberdeen

How did the British Museum respond to this protest?

The British Museum wrote on its website that “no formal request has been received for a full collection of the museum’s own Benin,” and that the museum was involved in a “long conversation” with the current Uber II Eurovar, who visited the museum in 2018 and met with director Hartwig Fischer.

Who returned their Benin bronze?

Only one company has promised to return the job to Benin Bronze, while others have promised to start discussing return items from the group. In March 2021, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland awarded Ober a sculpture at auction in London in 1957, calling it “extremely immoral” and ” Promise to send home. Nigerian Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed encouraged others to follow suit.

The University of Aberdeen’s futile decision led to some big events on the humble stage in Berlin Start following the repatriation process Benin bronze. The decision on whether they can return to Nigeria will be left to the board of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which manages the collection of the Ethnographic Museum. Hartmut Darzlow, director of the Humboldt Forum, said the museum would not display its Benin bronze, space or copies in its place, although the organization plans to create an exhibition dedicated to the group.

Meanwhile, in 2019, following a report by academics Fellows Sir and Benedict Sabe, France advised African industrial robbers under him to start returning to the country, the French state promised. 26 Benin back bronze In the national collection. Progress has slowed, as the country’s politicians have historically protested the return of African art, saying it was a site of French heritage and that none of the Benin Bronze could leave France permanently by April 2021.

Where will he go if Benin Bronze is sent back to Nigeria?

Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the return of Basin Bronze and a museum is being built in Benin City in the hope that some will return in the next few years. That institution, Edo Museum of West African Art, Designed by architect David Adoz and is currently set to open in 2025. It is expected to host the most extensive collection of Benin bronze.

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