New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday officially returned three works of art to Nigeria that were looted in the 19th century, as museums make increasing efforts to repatriate some foreign treasures.
The two 16th-century brass plaques and a 14th-century brass head from the Kingdom of Benin — part of modern-day Nigeria — were taken from the Nigerian Royal Palace during British military occupation in 1897 and moved to the British Museum in London until 1950 when the UK repatriated them.
After their return to the National Museum in Lagos, they re-entered the art market and ended up in the hands of a private investor who donated them to the Met in 1991, where they were exhibited for years.
On Monday, their transfer to the Nigerian National Collections — already announced in June — was confirmed at a signing in New York by Met director Max Hollein and Abba Isa Tijani, director-general of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments of Nigeria.
Tijani, quoted in…
Source: Guardian Newspaper