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Horniman Museum to return 72 artefacts to Nigeria

A London museum says it has agreed to return to Nigeria artefacts looted in the 19th Century from the Kingdom of Benin.

The Horniman Museum said ownership of 72 objects would be transferred to the Nigerian government.

Items include 12 brass plaques, known as Benin Bronzes, a brass cockerel and a key to the king’s palace.

It follows a request by Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in January.

BBC says the museum, in south-east London, has consulted with community members, visitors, schoolchildren, academics, heritage professionals and artists based in Nigeria and the UK.

The museum’s chair said it was “moral and appropriate” to return them.

In recent years, there has been increased political pressure on European governments and museums to hand back looted artefacts.

These include ivory carvings and metal sculptures known as the Benin Bronzes.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye