Scottish university to repatriate looted Benin sculpture

The University of Aberdeen in Scotland is to return a Benin bronze sculpture to Nigeria, saying it was acquired by British soldiers in 1897 in “reprehensible circumstances”, reports AFP.

It is the first institution to agree to the full repatriation from a museum of a Benin bronze, raising pressure on other establishments, including the British Museum, to follow suit.

The university acquired the bronze sculpture depicting an ‘Oba’ (king) of Benin at an auction in 1957, and it is considered a classic example of Benin Late Period Art. It was originally taken in 1897, when a British military expedition attacked and destroyed Benin City, looting thousands of metal and ivory sculptures and carvings, known as the Benin bronzes, from the royal palace. Benin City, in present-day southern Nigeria, was the seat of a powerful West African kingdom at the time.
Full report on the Al Arabiya site