Thu, 02 Dec 2021

LONDON, England: A bronze rooster, taken from what is now Nigeria by British troops in 1897, will be returned to Nigeria within weeks.

The Benin bronze statue was later donated to Jesus College at University of Cambridge in 1905.

In 2016 it was removed from its display and discussions began on returning it to Nigeria.

Jesus College said in 2019 that it was the first institution in the world to to return a Benin Bronze.

Officials later said that the statue "belongs with the current Oba at the Court of Benin".

The Oba of Benin is head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Empire, centred in Benin City in modern-day Nigeria.

The statue is to be handed over to Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments in a ceremony at Jesus College on 27 October.

"We are indeed very pleased and commend Jesus College for taking this lead in making restitution for the plunder that occurred in Benin in 1897," said His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Omo N'Oba N'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, as quoted by the BBC.

"We truly hope that others will expedite the return of our artworks, which in many cases are of religious importance to us."

Master of Jesus College, Sonita Alleyne, noted, "This is the right thing to do out of respect for the unique heritage and history of this artefact," as reported by the BBC.

For decades, the Benin bronze statue had been displayed in the college dining hall.

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