A square bronze pendant or ornament, one of the objects that London's Horniman Museum says was looted from Benin City by British soldiers in 1897. Horniman Museum and Gardens/Handout via REUTERS
Head of the Horniman Museum in London has agreed to return the stolen valuable collection to Nigeria because it is 'morally the appropriate' thing to do.
The Benin Bronzes are a collection of more than a thousand metal plaques and sculptures that adorned the royal palace in the Kingdom of Benin in what is now known as Edo State, Nigeria.
The Benin Bronzes have been made of brass and bronze in the Greater Benin Kingdom in what is now southwestern Nigeria since the 16th century. It is among the most culturally important artefacts in Africa, according to the British News Agency and WAM24.
These pieces, along with thousands of others, were seized in a British military incursion, and ended up in museums in Europe and the United States.
"The evidence is very clear that these holdings were obtained through force. External consultations have supported our view that it is ethical and appropriate to return its ownership to Nigeria," said Eve Salomon, Chief Curator at Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, southeast London.
The British forces had taken the holdings from the city of Benin in February 1897, and the National Committee of Museums and Antiquities in Nigeria demanded their return last January.
The Horniman Museum is located in Forest Hill. It includes important collections of antiquities related to the human skeleton, natural history and musical instruments. The museum is also a space for many special exhibitions, concerts, festivals, cultural exhibitions and workshops.