Berlin (AP) — Germany will sign an agreement in Nigeria on Friday, paving the way for the return of an important sculpture known as Benin Bronze, which was brought out of Africa in the late 19th century.
European and North American governments and museums are increasingly seeking to resolve ownership disputes over colonial looted objects.
The British colonial expedition stole bas-relief bronze and numerous other treasures from the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897.
The Cultural Heritage Foundation, the authority overseeing many museums in Berlin, the Prussian, announced last year that it has begun formal negotiations to return the works in its collection. did.
The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed in Berlin by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Minister of Culture Claudia Ross, as well as Minister of Culture Lai Mohammed and Foreign Minister Zubairo Dada.
The final details of the return have not yet been announced, but the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation says it expects to lend some of the bronze from Nigeria.
Last year, the Smithsonian National Museum of Africa in Washington, D.C. promised to remove 10 Benin Bronze works from the exhibition and return them to Nigeria. Other museums have also begun discussions on returning objects.
Many of the objects remain in the British Museum, which is calling for them to be returned.