The University of Aberdeen is reportedly set to return back to Nigeria an ancient sculpture illegally taken away from the Benin Kingdom.
According to the University management, continually keeping the Benin bronze at the institution would be totally wrong as it was acquired illegally a long time ago.
Naija News understands that the recovery was coming following a call by the Nigerian government on other British museums to reassess their collections. It was gathered that the sculpture which depicts the then Oba of Benin, was part of a haul of thousands of items forcefully taken when the British looted Benin city in southeastern Nigeria in 1897.
A statement from the university, however, confirmed that the bronze will be sent back to Nigeria “within weeks”.
In a statement, the institution, which has had the bronze since 1957, said the “punitive expedition” of 1897 was one of “the most notorious examples of the pillaging of cultural treasures associated with 19th-century European colonial expansion”.
Principal and vice-chancellor of the university, Prof George Boyne, while speaking on the return of the bronze said the decision was in line with Aberdeen’s “values as an international, inclusive university”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the move was a step in the right direction.
“Other holders of Nigerian antiquity ought to emulate this to bring fairness to the burning issue of repatriation,” the minister noted. Naija News understands that the development was coming a few days after Germany confirmed it was negotiating to repatriate several bronzes that remain in its collections.
In another news, United States President, Joe Biden said his “expectation” is to run for reelection in 2024, dousing speculation that the oldest person to assume the office will step down after a single term.
Naija News reports that the Democratic president also attacked Republican efforts to limit voting, describing the actions in dozens of states that would make it more difficult for millions of people to cast ballots as “sick” and “un-American.”