Who owns the Benin bronzes? | The Stream

Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “Who owns the Benin bronzes? | The Stream” – below is their description.

In 1897, British troops looted thousands of bronze sculptures and artefacts from the African Kingdom of Benin, located in present-day southern Nigeria. Bronze plaques, masks and other objects have over the years scattered around the world, ending up in Western museums or sold to private collectors.

Generations later – and facing a global movement to address racial injustices – more museums are responding to calls for the return of these objects that hold great cultural significance for Nigeria.

Germany announced that it would remove more than 500 Benin bronzes from its public museums and work toward a full return of the looted artefacts. And in Scotland, the University of Aberdeen became the first institution to repatriate a Benin bronze back to Nigeria. The British Museum holds more than 900 Benin bronzes, but has not committed to returning them.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the debate over repatriating the Benin bronzes.

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About This Source - Al Jazeera English

The video item below is a piece of English language content from Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.

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In This Story: Benin

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as Dahomey, the country gained full independence from France in 1960.

It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso to the north-west, and Niger to the north-east. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country’s largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres (44,310 sq mi) and its population in 2018 was estimated to be approximately 11.49 million.

The official language of Benin is French, with several indigenous languages such as Fon, Bariba, Yoruba and Dendi also being commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by Islam, Vodun (commonly referred to as Voodoo outside the country) and Protestantism.

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In This Story: Germany

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe. It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south.

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. With over 83 million inhabitants of its 16 constituent states, it is the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Berlin, and its financial centre is Frankfurt; the largest urban area is the Ruhr.

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In This Story: Nigeria

Nigeria, an African country on the Gulf of Guinea, has many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves. Protected areas such as Cross River National Park and Yankari National Park have waterfalls, dense rainforest, savanna and rare primate habitats. One of the most recognizable sites is Zuma Rock, a 725m-tall monolith outside the capital of Abuja that’s pictured on the national currency.

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Scotland is a country in Western Europe which forms part of the United Kingdom. Its government was joined with that of England’s through the 1707 Acts of Union. A devolved government now administers many of the affairs of the country, though ultimate authority still resides with Westminster. Scotland has a distinct legal system and national sporting associations. 5.2 million people live in Scotland and the largest city in the country is Glasgow, though the capital is Edinburgh where the government sits at the Scottish Parliament opposite Holyrood Palace.

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