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Smithsonian Museum in USA set to repatriate looted Benin Bronzes

Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Arts located in Washington DC, USA has announced that, some looted Benin Bronzes have been removed from display awaiting repatriation.

Ngaire Blankenberg, the Museum’s director said: “I can confirm that we have taken down the Benin bronzes we had on display and we are fully committed for repatriation. We cannot build for the future without making our best efforts at healing the wounds of the past.”

According to the Museum, about 42 objects in its possession have been proven as those stolen from Benin-Nigeria by British troops in 1897. The authorities claimed the historical objects were gifted to the facility by one Joseph H. Hirshhorn.

This decision to return the stolen objects follows the wave of repatriation sweeping through the West. France, UK and the rest have commenced the gradual return of looted objects to Africa.

Whilst the move has been praised by some people, there has been a general call from others for these countries to consider returning valuables such as Gold, Bauxite, Diamond and other resources they equally looted alongside the artifacts. A section of the commentaries also demanded that revenues generated from these objects should equally.

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