Benin Artifacts Restitution

1st Seminar – Benin Artifacts’ Restitution By Barnaby Phillips (Author & Former Correspondent at BBC & Al Jazeera)

This program is a part of our efforts to promote the history of Benin and culture in the diaspora. It focuses on overseeing the trend and research done by some private and academic (Europeans) researchers on Benin Artifacts, (how these Artifacts were disseminated across the globe) the return, compensation, and more! From our findings thus far, most of the research and information about Benin Artifacts are accessible to a few Edo citizens worldwide. There is a need to educate and update a vast majority of Edo citizens about the latest news regarding the whereabouts and return of these artifacts. The program’s facilitator is an author, former correspondent at BBC, and Al Jazeera, Mr. Barnaby Philips. The theme of the program: Restitution of Benin Artifacts.  Nine panelists: Professor  Esohe Mercy Omoregbe from the  Department of Linguistics Studies University of Benin, Barrister Ewaen Fred Ogieriakhi from Ireland, Prof Alex Igbineweka from California United states, Chief Efosa Samson Ezoba, United States, Dr. (Mrs.) Gladys Amenze Ikhimwin, Associate professor at the University of Benin,  Dr. Patricia E. Fadaka-Igbinovia from New York, Mr. Michael Odeh president of BARCO, Germany, Mr. Sunday Okoro, Hartford Connecticut, and Prof Victor Edosa Omozuwa, the Department of Linguistics Studies, University of Benin.

 In 1897, a British colonial expedition looted vast quantities of Benin Artifacts from the Oba palace in Benin. These artifacts were carted around different western countries. Hundreds were sold to collectors such as the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, which has one of the world’s largest groups of historical objects from the Benin Kingdom. The Berlin museum has recently signed an agreement to return hundreds of Benin artifacts that were looted from the Benin Palace more than 120 years ago. During the accord in Germany on July 1st, 2022, two pieces held by the Berlin museum were handed over to the  Nigerian officials as they signed their “joint political declaration” at the German foreign ministry in Berlin. The discussion session examines the recent agreement between the German museum and the Nigerian federal government to return Benin Bronzes back to Nigeria.