Benin Dialogue Group Statement

News from 03/24/2021

Benin Dialogue Group contributes to the ongoing discussion about the possible return of the Benin bronzes.

Set up in 2010, the Benin Dialogue Group offers museums from Austria, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Sweden a framework within which to work with Nigerian partner institutions and representatives of the Royal Court of Benin. The Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) has been an active member of the working group since it first met.

In its latest statement, the Benin Dialogue Group acknowledges that the sack of Benin City in 1897 is the main source of the objects from the Kingdom of Benin that are currently kept in museums around the world. It describes the development of more detailed plans for the Edo Museum of West African Arts (EMOWAA) in Benin City as well as the agreements between the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria (NCMM), the Royal Court of Benin, the government of Edo State and the newly established Legacy Restoration Trust (LRT) as key steps for the future accommodation of returned objects.

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