Nigeria Can Benefit From Tourism With Return Of Benin Bronzes – Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has hailed the move by the Horniman Museum in London to return looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria.

According to him, Nigeria can benefit from the return of the stolen artefacts which he believes will boost tourism in the country.

Concise News reported that ownership of 72 objects, which were forcibly removed from Benin City during the British military incursion in February 1897, will be transferred to the Nigerian government, following a decision by the Horniman’s Board of Trustees.

The collection includes 12 brass plaques, known publicly as Benin bronzes. Other objects include a brass cockerel altar piece, ivory and brass ceremonial objects, brass bells, everyday items such as fans and baskets, and a key ‘to the king’s palace’.

“The evidence is very clear that these objects were acquired through force, and external consultation supported our view that it is both moral and appropriate to return their ownership to Nigeria. The Horniman is pleased to be able to take this step and we look forward to working with the NCMM to secure longer term care for these precious artefacts,” said Eve Salomon, Chair of the Trustees of the Horniman Museum and Gardens

Reacting, Tinubu tweeted, “I congratulate all Nigerians on the Horniman Museum’s decision to return 72 treasured artefacts to their rightful home. The Horniman will now forever be recognised as the first British government funded museum to return artefacts to Nigeria. Others, I hope, will soon follow.

“I congratulate, also, the Nigerian government for its diplomacy and deft handling of this sensitive matter. Many of these artefacts bear deep historical and spiritual connections to the cultures from which they were taken, and repatriating them is a welcome step in restoring our heritage, pride and dignity.

“It also means that Nigeria can begin to benefit from the tourism potential that having these artefacts back home could bring.

“Well done to all involved.”

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