Two artefacts stolen from Oba’s Palace during 1897 expedition by the British have been returned to Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11.

Written by on February 21, 2022

Two artefacts which were stolen from the Oba’s Palace during the 1897 expedition by the British were on Saturday returned to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11.

The two bronze artefacts are a cockerel (okpa in Benin) and the bust of an Oba Uhunilao which were brought back from Jesus College, Cambridge and Aberdeen in Scotland respectively are two artefacts out of about 10,000 which were taken from the palace during the British expedition of 1897

At the ceremony held at the palace ground of the Oba of Benin, the Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Ishola, who stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari said that he had a presidential directive to personally hand over the artefacts to the Benin monarch for safe keeping.

Director General of the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Professor Abba Isa Tijani, said that he was very happy that the first set of the looted artefacts which are over 10,000 were being returned during his time as boss of NCMM.

Oba Ewuare 11, in his speech which was read by his younger brother, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa commended President Buhari, said that international scholars and most museums now agree that keeping stolen artefacts is immoral and illegal.

Seun Fakorede

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