Cambridge returns looted Benin bronze to Nigeria, setting ...

Lifestyle

Cambridge returns looted Benin bronze to Nigeria, setting precedent

In an act of ‘respect’, Jesus College has handed over the artefact, but other institutions are yet to follow

Estelle Shirbon

On Wednesday, the UK’s Cambridge University handed over to Nigeria a sculpture that was looted by British troops in 1897, setting a precedent that will put pressure on other institutions to return stolen artefacts.

The sculpture of a cockerel was one of hundreds of Benin bronzes pillaged from the once-mighty kingdom of Benin, in what is now Nigeria. They are among Africa’s most culturally significant artefacts and Nigerian authorities have been calling for years for their return.

“This is the right thing to do out of respect for the unique heritage and history of this artefact,” said Sonita Alleyne, master of Jesus College, Cambridge, in a statement ahead of a ceremony to hand over the cockerel to a Nigerian delegation...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

Sunday Times Daily

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.