A Nigerian man, who visited the British Museum, has requested that the Benin kingdom artefacts which were allegedly stolen since the 1980’s, be returned.
The entrepreneur and philanthropist, Ambassador Dion Osagie, who happens to be from Edo state – revealed that his visit to the museum on the quest of recovering the items was worth more than anything to him.
In the process leading to the royal wedding of Prince Harry, I visited the British Museum to request that our Benin kingdom artifacts stolen since 1897 to be returned with immediate efffect.
If I didn’t not achieve anything on my tour. My visit to the museum was worth more than anything to me. We will continue to speak and take proper or legal action about it.
Ambassador Dion Osagie
See some photos below;
Recall, Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, had earlier this year said the state government is working with the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, to build a world-class Royal Museum, to hold stolen artefacts being recovered by the Benin Kingdom.
The British museum boasts the second largest collection of art from the Benin kingdom after the Ethnological Museum in Berlin.
It has been reported that the British Museum will host a summit along with other European museums to discuss the return of bronze artefacts looted in 1897 from the kingdom of Benin, now southern Nigeria.
It will conduct negotiations with Nigeria and Benin about returning the items which are expected to go on permanent display in Benin City.
In the late 19th century, Britain sought to wipe out the kingdom of Benin in what became known as the “punitive expedition.”
When Oba Ovonramwen, then ruler of Benin, imposed customs duties on goods leaving the territory, Britain sent 1,200 soldiers to destroy the kingdom as a form of reparations for the colonial power.
The city was set on fire and hundreds of trinkets, bronze sculptures, and valuables were stolen and later handed to the British government.
Through trade and art dealership, these artefacts have mostly ended up in Germany and the United States.