University of Aberdeen Returns Benin Bronze Head

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The University of Aberdeen, Scotland has returned a Benin Bronze head, one of thousands of religious and cultural artefacts looted in ancient Benin kingdom by British forces in 1897.

The sculpture, which depicts the head of an Oba (king) and stolen during the destruction of Benin City by the British military expedition, is the second artefact to be returned to the Benin Kingdom, coming after a carved cockerel, known as “Okukor,” which the University of Cambridge returned on Wednesday.

Also on Thursday, the University of Aberdeen, at a ceremony in Aberdeen, handed over the Benin Bronze head to a Nigerian delegation.

Reports say the artefact was purchased by the University of Aberdeen at an auction in 1957.

Babatunde Adebiyi, the Legal Adviser of National Commission for Museums and Monuments, said the University agreed to the full repatriation of the Benin Bronze in March.

He said the Nigerian team to the handing over was led by Malam Suleiman Sani, the Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria in UK and the Director-General of the commission, Prof. Abba Tijani.

Also in the team were Prince Aghatise Erediauwa, the younger brother of the current Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11.

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