How woke is this?

Benin Bronzes” due to be repatriated by the Church of England were made in the 1980’s, officials have stated.

Sculptures and plaques made for royalty in the former Kingdom of Benin and largely seized by British forces in 1897 have been the subject of renewed calls for repatriation to Nigeria following Black Lives Matter protests.

The Church of England owns two statues which were gifted to Archbishop Robert Runcie by politician Prof Ambrose F. Alli and the University of Nigeria during an Easter visit to the country in 1982.

Following a wave of repatriation pledges from UK museums, Lambeth Palace earlier this month promised to “return the bronzes” in its possession.

But the sculptures earmarked for repatriation were likely made in the 1980’s and had no connection to colonial activity.

Lambeth Palace clarified: “The sculptures that we received as gifts in the 1980’s are likely to be contemporary from that time.”

8 thoughts on “How woke is this?”

  1. ‘Why not repatriate all the Africans and keep the bronzes?’

    Tut, tut Witchie. That makes far too much sense.

    But this does make me wonder how many precious relics have been made from loot. For example, how many slaves were seized to make the Elgin marbles. Or dig the ore for the Benin bronzes.

    Indeed I’d suspect that Benin bought a lot of it’s copper and tin from European traders with the proceeds of its slave trade. Perhaps it should sell them to pay reparations.

  2. I love the story about the institution who received a gift of statuettes from the Nigerian government. A decade or so later, their board went woke and handed back these emblems of cultural appropriation. A month or so later, they were in the Sotheby’s catalogue, for sale

  3. You’re not allowed to purchase foreign goods, you’re not allowed to recieve them as gifts, these people just LOATH foreigners don’t they.

  4. Indeed I’d suspect that Benin bought a lot of it’s copper and tin from European traders with the proceeds of its slave trade. Perhaps it should sell them to pay reparations.

    Surprise! “the plaques taken from Benin City by the British in 1897, known as the ‘Benin Bronzes’, were fashioned from brass ‘manillas’ originally acquired from Europeans by selling slaves to them.” (https://capx.co/are-museums-racist/)

  5. Dennis, This Week's Tottenham Manager

    Lord knows they’ll be both safe from theft and appreciated by the locals there in Nigeria…

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