UK: Cambridge College To Return Looted Benin Bronze Artifact

British institution to return one of the Benin bronzes to Nigeria
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Photo: Twitter

A Cambridge college is to become the first British institution to return one of the Benin bronzes to Nigeria later this month in what has been described as “a historic moment.”

Jesus College, University of Cambridge, will return the bronze cockerel to Nigerian delegates on 27 October, in a handover ceremony that Nigerian officials say offers “hope for amicable resolutions” to the ongoing disputes over the ownership of cultural properties.

The Okukor, described by the college as a “royal ancestral heirloom”, was taken from the kingdom of Benin, which was later absorbed into Nigeria, during a punitive expedition in 1897 when thousands of bronzes were looted by British forces.

Its return is expected to spark a wave of repatriation ceremonies, as the cultural world continues to reckon with concerns over the ethics of plundered historical artifacts.

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