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Nigeria Receives 3 Benin Artefacts From the US

Nigeria Receives 3 Benin Artefacts From the US

  • Three Ife and Benin artefacts have been returned to Nigeria from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in the United States
  • The artefacts which are two 16th-century Benin brass plaques and one 14th-century Ife brass head were delivered to the NCMM DG Abba Tijjani
  • Tijjani who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the MET to confirm the reception of the artefacts, commended the museum for returning them

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday returned three works of art to Nigeria that were looted in the 19th century.

The artefacts, two 16th-century Benin brass plaques, and a 14th-century brass head from Ife were stolen during the British military occupation in 1897.

They were moved to the British Museum and remained there until the UK repatriated them to Nigeria in 1950.

After being returned to the National Museum in Lagos, they were placed on the art market once again and purchased by an investor who donated them to the MET in 1991.

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The recent repatriation which was earlier announced in June this year was confirmed by the Met director Max Hollein and Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments of Nigeria, Abba Isa Tijani over the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

Tijani thanked the MET for the return of the Ife and Benin artefacts and encouraged other museums to emulate them.

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