This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
AN AFRICAN prince is calling on Bristol Museum to return a Benin Bronze sculpture – one of thousands of priceless artefacts stolen by colonists in the 19th century – back to Nigeria.
Benin Bronzes refer to thousands of artworks which once decorated the palace of the oba, or king, of the west African empire of Benin.
Many of the finely carved artefacts were stolen from the kingdom’s capital Benin City — now in modern-day Nigeria — by the British army in a punitive 1897 expedition.
They remain scattered across the world, mainly in museums and private collections in Europe, including 1,000 pieces at the British Museum.
A bust believed to be worth £1 million is currently on display in Bristol Museum.
Speaking in an episode of BBC Inside Out West airing today (7.30pm, BBC1 West Midlands), Prince Edun Akenzua of the Royal Court of Benin said: “We are appealing to Bristol Museum to blaze the trail for the international community or private holders of the Benin cultural property to get them returned.”
Jon Finch, head of culture at Bristol City Council, which runs the museum, said he was open to returning the bust.
“I’ve seen the impassioned plea from the prince, so we’re very willing to explore that option with him and others,” he said.
The Benin royal family has been trying for many years to get its cultural heritage returned.
Last year Jesus College, Cambridge agreed to return a Benin Bronze, a cockerel – the first such item to be sent back home.
But the British Museum has refused to comply with the prince’s demands, arguing that their collection of bronzes cannot be returned because they are protected by the Heritage Act.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.