31 Mar 2021

UK university’s return of looted Benin Bronze puts pressure on other institutions

Aberdeen University has become the first British institution to announce that it plans to return artefacts looted in the late 19th century from what is now part of Nigeria.

The decision to hand back one of the thousands of Benin Bronzes could lead a wave of repatriations of the stolen plaques and sculptures.

The UK government has insisted that institutions should “retain and explain” contested artefacts, but the university’s decision puts pressure on the British Museum, which holds 900 of the Benin Bronzes.

We have been to Aberdeen to see one of the first Bronzes from a museum to be returned.