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Germany to return 20 stolen Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

Germany is to return 20 stolen Benin Bronzes to Nigeria next week.

The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock is expected to return the bronzes when she visits Nigeria next week from 18th-20th December 2022.

Her Spokesman, Christofer Burger said returning the bronzes before the end of the year signifies how serious Germany is about facing up its colonial past.

Germany signed an agreement in July to gradually begin returning hundreds of looted Benin bronzes from German museums.

According to Burger, Baerbock is due to travel to Abuja from December 18-20, and will be accompanied by Culture Minister Claudia Roth and the directors of five German museums that together house the largest collections of Benin artworks.

Germany has around 1,100 of the precious 16th- to 18th-century artefacts, split between some 20 museums.

Berlin’s Ethnological Museum currently holds 530 items that were taken from the Kingdom of Benin, and among them are some 440 bronzes, considered to be the second-largest collection behind the British Museum in London.

Nigeria has been negotiating the return of Benin bronzes from several European countries.

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; editing by Julian Osamoto