Germany and Nigeria have signed an agreement that paves the way for the return of hundreds of artefacts known as the Benin Bronzes, which were mined from Africa more than 120 years ago.
In 1897, British forces looted thousands of bronzes during a violent raid on the City of Benin, and soon the artifacts were scattered in museums around the world.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Zubairu Dada signed for Nigeria, while German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock and Minister of State for Culture and Economy Media, Ms. Claudia Roth, Germany signed.
In his speech before the signing, Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed thanked the government and people of Germany for their efforts to “return the greatest works anywhere in the world”. He wished that this behavior was exemplary.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Ms. Baerbock, said: ”It was wrong to take the (Benin) bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong.”