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Stolen artifacts: NDA, German school mull ways of retrieval

By Bridget SAMUEL Kaduna

THE NIGERIAN Defence Academy in collaboration with the Hamburg University, Germany, has held a one-day seminar to discuss how over 3,000 Benin artifacts looted by Europeans during a massacre in 1897 could be returned back to the country from various museums around the world.

The seminar which drew together leading academics from within and outside Nigeria, took place at the JN Garba Hall, Ribadu Campus.

At the seminar which was titled “The Benin Bronze: Globalizing the Colonial Looting of Art Objects”, participants pointed out that Benin Bronzes represents civilisation, culture and history highly treasured by the Benin people, it was therefore very important to return these artifacts to their place of origin.

Papers presented at the seminar include “British Colonial Rule and the Institutionalization of Benin Artifacts since 1897” and Masterpieces in Demand: An analysis of the Post-Colonial Trade of Benin Objects with Special  Attention to the Role of German Actors from 1897, among others.

Presenting the Vote of Thanks at the event, Col (Dr) TI Agbo commended the NDA Commandant, Major General Jamil Sarham, for facilitating the seminar. He noted that the seminar will push forward the frontiers at the Academy, which become known as a great citadel of learning and leadership .

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