Dating bronze artifacts dating protocol worldwide
The British Museum will host a summit along with other European museums to discuss the return of bronze artifacts looted in 1897 from the kingdom of Benin, now southern Nigeria.
The museum boasts the second largest collection of art from the Benin kingdom after the Ethnological Museum in Berlin.
Former curator of the National Museum in Lagos, John Picton, said while the moral case for the return of the Benin’s bronze was “indisputable,” there was a risk that removing them from European museums would take African art out of world art history.
This isn’t the first time conversations about Benin’s stolen bronze artifacts has taken place.
century, Britain sought to wipe out the kingdom of Benin in what became known as the “punitive expedition.” When Oba Ovonramwen, then ruler of Benin, imposed customs duties on goods leaving the territory, Britain sent 1,200 soldiers to destroy the kingdom as a form of reparations for the colonial power.About one-third of the artifacts were stone tools, with another third comprising fossilized animal skeletons.The species the researchers could identify from the fossilized remains included rabbits, sheep, donkeys, rhinoceroses, bears and birds.Senior curator at Swedish museum, Världskulturmuseet, Michael Barrett, told The Guardian the move is part of an effort from a “generation of curators” looking to “find ways towards reconciliation.” The museum has a small collection of Benin bronze artifacts which it will put up for repatriation.However, there are concerns about the insurance cost and safety of the bronze plaques in Nigeria.
One such find, was the discovery of four cone-shaped golden hats from the Bronze Age.