Wednesday, July 6

Oba of Benin to receive bronze artefacts

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LOOTED ARTEFACTS: Oba Ewuare speaks as Benin eagerly awaits return of the ‘cockerel’
FILE: Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, dancing at a press briefing to the songs his grand father, Oba Akenzua II sang and danced to in 1938. This was joy over the return of the first set of artefacts said to have been worn by Oba Ovonranmwen Nogbaisi when he went on exile.

The physical handing over of two bronze artefacts from Jesus College, University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain to HRM  Omo N’ Edo, Oba Ewuare 11, will take place weekend in Benin.

The artefacts are ‘Okpa Cockerel’ and the bronze burst of an Oba (Uhunilo).A statement in Benin, yesterday, by the Secretary to the Benin Traditional Council, BTC, Mr Frank Erhabor, said the physical handing over of the artefacts was sequel to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian High Commissioner to personally hand them over to the Benin monarch.

It would be recalled that on December 13, 2021, a documentation on the return of the artefacts was signed by the Oba of Benin, some of his chiefs and the Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain in accordance with the British law. The handing over of the artefacts was, however, shifted to a later day.

“This further shows that the Federal Government is the only constitutional authority to receive in custody Benin bronzes and other artefacts before being sent to their original owner, the Oba of Benin”, he said.

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