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‘You have a year’s deadline to return artefacts’ – Nigeria warns Germany on return of Benin Bronzes

Nigeria’s Federal Government has proposed to Germany a one-year time limit for full return of the famous Benin Bronzes. Germany had agreed to repatriate the hundreds of antiquities that were looted from the Bini Kingdom in 1897.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the proposal during a round-table with German Museum Directors and government officials in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday 8th July 2021.

Famous Benin Bronzes looted from Nigeria by Germany.

Mr Mohammmed said the agreement for the repatriation of the Benin Bronzes from Germany must be signed by December 2021.

”For us, the most important issue in the road map is the signing of the agreement and the date of return. We won’t move forward if we don’t have a clear date on signing and return,” he told participants at the round-table. ”Full return should be completed in a year’s time, not beyond August 2022.”

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Famous Benin Bronzes looted from Nigeria by Germany.

The Nigerian government is coordinating the return of the Benin Bronzes which are mostly held by the state and private museums.

Of the 6,600 museums in Germany, less than five percent are owned by the Federal Government.