Benin Artefacts, British Museum

Benin Artefacts, British Museum

Benin artefacts: Chimamanda Adichie calls on British museums to follow Germany's footsteps

Benin artefacts: Chimamanda Adichie calls on British museums to follow Germany's footsteps

9/25/2021 4:22:00 PM

Benin artefacts: Chimamanda Adichie calls on British museums to follow Germany's footsteps

Renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, has called on the British Museum to follow Germany's footsteps in returning the Benin artefacts to Nigeria.

“But it is also interesting to say that a substantial amount would be returned, which makes me wonder how it would be determined and by whom.”She added, “And it is interesting that it is the British colonial loot, rather than German colonial loot, that is being returned from Germany. But still, it is progress.

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“And Germany’s action – its gesture towards righting what is wrong – must be acknowledged. My acknowledgment of it, is not to say that the work is done but that the work is started.”In the same vein, Adichie hoped that the British Museum would be inspired by the Germans to return the Benin artefacts stolen during the invasion of the Benin kingdom by British troops in 1897.

While saying this, Adichie acknowledged the presence of top British historian, Neil McGregor, who was also part of the audience.She continued, “And that perhaps that a place like the British Museum – I know that Neil is here – that holds the majority of Benin bronzes might perhaps be inspired by the German decision and hopefully that the British museum will rethink its policy of ‘retain and explain’, which is unacceptable.” headtopics.com

In January 2021, the British introduced a new policy of “retain and explain”, which stated that historic statues must only be removed during special circumstances.“The new legal protections mean that historic statues should be ‘retained and explained’ for future generations. Individuals who want to remove any historic statue, whether listed or not, will now require listed building consent or planning permission.

Read more: The Punch Newspapers »

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