Nigeria, Germany sign agreement on return of 1,130 Benin bronzes

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Nigeria and Germany have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the repatriation of hundreds of Benin bronzes from 2022.

Nigeria is expecting about 1,130 pieces of artifacts from the world power.

On Wednesday, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, received a German government delegation in Abuja.

Mohammed said a team of experts will leave Nigeria soon to engage with stakeholders in Germany on the return of the artifacts.

The minister said though the country acquired them through global trading, it agreed to voluntarily relinquish them to further strengthen bilateral ties.

“The return of the artifacts will further cement
relationship between Nigeria and Germany. Culture today has become one of the effective tools for soft diplomacy,” he said.

Director General for Culture and Communication, German Federal Foreign Office, Dr. Andreas Gorgen said the repatriation will contribute to healing the wound inflicted by the looting.

Gorgen hailed Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments for its efforts.

On the delegation were Director of the Museum at Rothenbaum, Prof. Barbara Plankensteiner; President, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Prof. Hermann Parzinger and German Ambassador to Nigeria, Birgitt Ory.

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