SPK Foundation Board: Benin Bronzes Return to Nigeria

News from 06/29/2021

Foundation Board of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz authorized SPK President Hermann Parzinger to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

Metal commemorative head
© Photo: Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Martin Franken

In its meeting today, the Foundation Board of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) authorized SPK President Hermann Parzinger "to conduct, in the framework of the joint negotiations of the Federal Republic of Germany with the relevant authorities in Nigeria, negotiations on the return of such objects from the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) as originate from the Kingdom of Benin and were looted during the British punitive expedition of 1897, [and to do so] independently of the circumstances of their subsequent acquisition by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin on the art market." The objective, according to the Foundation Board, should be their return, to a substantial extent, in the year 2022. It was also resolved that: "A detailed plan for the further stages of negotiations should be presented to the Foundation Board at its next meeting."

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