Permanently Return Stolen Artifacts in British Museums back to Nigeria.

Permanently Return Stolen Artifacts in British Museums back to Nigeria.

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"In 1897, British troops stole some 4,000 sculptures from the Royal palace after a punitive expedition (an invasion) in the Kingdom of Benin (Edo State, now southwestern Nigeria). Over a century later, surviving bronzes are on display at museums in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and the United States, but not in Nigeria, their country of origin".

Ring any bells? This sounds like looting to me. Something that African Americans right now are also being acused of for fighting for the basic human right of living and being respected regardless of their race. But the UK is not so innocent either- The British Museum, the National History Museum, Bristol Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum and Ashmolean Museum are only some of the places where our heritage is being retained. Some of these museums have already stated that they stand in solidarity with the Black community. If #blacklivesmatter to them, does our heritage as part of our “lives” also matter to them? That’s the question we are trying to find out. If they really want to stand in solidarity with the Black community, we must ask them to demonstrate this by actions. During times like these is when they have to demonstrate what kind of institution they are: whether they stick to their principles or if they are following the trend.

"Nigeria has been asking the U.K. to return its Benin bronzes for decades, and in late 2018, the country struck a deal in which the British Museum will send some bronzes to Nigeria for the Royal Museum the country plans to open in 2021. But crucially, the British Museum says it is only loaning the sculptures".

Now I wonder: how can the British government ask for money for sculptures that don't belong to them and is not part of their culture? They not only economically benefited from our materials during colonialism but they are also benefiting now, as these sculptures are still being sold in the market. Are they proud that looting is part of the British Empire history among many other atrocities? In the UK, the government wants to benefit from our culture but don't want us as individuals (look at Brexit).

Art is also part of us and our history, and that is why we demand the repatriation of all the sculptures to Benin City that belong to Nigeria. Nigerians should not have to travel to Western countries to see how their own art has been kidnapped behind a glass, when they were not meant to be for exposition in the first place, according to Prince Edun Akenzua of the Royal Court of Benin.

In this website: https://qz.com/africa/1865162/africas-stolen-artifacts-up-for-sale-during-global-economic-crisis/ you can find more information about how these artefacts are STILL being sold to other countries despite all the activism that has been done to get them back, clearly dismissing our right to have them back where they belong. This article https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/black-lives-matter-and-the-benin-bronzes/ also explains really well the purpose of this petition. 

We need the heritage that we made and has been away from the motherland for far too long.