National Museum of Ireland forges plan to return looted Benin bronzes

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) intends to return 21 historical artefacts looted from Nigeria in the 1890s. The Benin bronzes, which were stolen by British soldiers, have been the subject of renewed focus in recent months, with growing pressure on cultural institutions to return them.

While there is no formal plan for when the Benin bronzes will be returned, the NMI said it was committed to progressing “a restitution process” for the artefacts.

In the past month, museums in Berlin and London, as well as Aberdeen University and the Church of England, have pledged to return their collections. The British Museum, which houses the largest number of Benin bronzes, has been asked by academics and members of the African art world to return the collection in their possession.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date