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Nigeria and Germany sign agreement on repatriation of 1,130 looted Benin Bronzes

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, said on Friday many of the 1,130 looted Benin Bronzes got to German institutions via trade and donations.

The minister, according to a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Adeyemi, stated this during the signing of a historic joint declaration between Nigeria and Germany in Berlin.

Mohammed and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, signed the declaration for Nigeria while the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Annalena Baerbock, and the Minister of State for Culture and Media, Ms. Claudia Roth, represented the European nation at the forum.

The minister said the joint declaration would pave the way for the return of the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.

He said Germany did not colonise Nigeria and was not part of the looting of the artefacts.

READ ALSO: University of Aberdeen completes return of stolen Benin Bronze

Mohammed recalled that the artefacts were looted from the ancient Benin Kingdom during the British forces’ expedition to Benin in 1897.

He thanked the government and people of Germany for the single largest repatriation of artefacts anywhere in the world.

He said: “We also want to most sincerely thank the authorities of the various German regions, cities, museums and institutions that have been working in concert to ensure the manifestation of the history-making event that we are witnessing today.

“By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past.

”Germany has gained more friends in Nigeria and all over the world by returning to Nigeria what rightfully belongs to it.”

On his part, Dada described Germany as the champion of justice and fairness.

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