Cambridge University has reportedly delayed plans to give back artefacts “stolen” from Africa after treasures returned by Germany vanished.
Plans for Cambridge University to give back its collection of “stolen” Benin Bronzes to Nigeria have reportedly been put on hold after treasures returned to the country by Germany are said to have disappeared.
There has been a significant push from African countries for the West to return artefacts produced in the continent so that the people whose ancestors produced the artworks can be the ones to enjoy them.
However, a recent attempt by progressive Germany to hand back treasures to Nigeria has since gone horribly wrong, with bronzes returned by the country disappearing from public view entirely after being handed to an aristocratic African family in the country with historical ties to slavery.
According to a report by The Times, it is in this context that Cambridge University has decided at the last minute to pause handing back its collection of Benin treasures, saying that the transfer will not take place until October at the earliest, rather than this coming Tuesday.
The university has refused to explain the cause of the sudden delay.
‘Stolen’ African Artefacts Returned by the West have Now Disappeared, Experts Sayhttps://t.co/WgEOVvKDcP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 11, 2023
Meanwhile, officials from Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments have expressed shock that previous bronzes handed to the country were not given to them, but pawned off to African aristocracy instead, describing themselves as being “blindsided” by the decision which was made by the country’s top politicians.
Abba Isa Tijani, the Director General of the national body, has said that the Cambridge delay had been implemented in order to allow Nigerian officials to clarify the exact legal status of the artefacts, and who they should be handed to.
Cambridge Museum director Nicholas Thomas has meanwhile insisted that the transfer to Nigeria will indeed eventually go ahead as planned, seemingly despite the country’s propensity to give away historical artefacts gifted to it by the West.
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