Cambridge college in the United Kingdom has announced a decision to return to Nigeria, a bronze cockerel which was part of the numerous artefacts looted by British forces during colonial era as pressure mounts for reparations.
Recall that the University earlier removed the artefact from public view in 2016 and promised the return following pressure from the student body. The school has finally taken the decision to do the needful.
News of the return was well-received by Nigerian authorities as preparations are already ongoing towards the final day of reception of the historical object in a move the college themed the “first institutional return of its kind.”
The parties chose October 27th for the release of the item. As part of the reparation process, selected delegates from the Nigeria National Commission for Museums and Monuments, as well as people from Benin where the object was originally looted are expected to visit the Jesus college of the school for the official hand-over.
Responding to how the school also shared in the looted objects, authorities stated that, the Benin bronze cockerel in particular was given to the school in the year 1905 by a certain student’s father.
According to Nigeria’s minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ‘this gesture by Jesus college is a big step on the path of restitution for the hundreds of priceless and timeless artifacts that were looted from Benin City in 1987. I hope this commendable action by Jesus college will spur other institutions as well as individuals in possession of Nigerian artifacts to return voluntarily.’
The minister went on to reiterate the effort of Nigeria in making sure that other artifacts in various parts of the world are returned to the motherland.