The Restitution Study Group – which campaigns for reparative justice for slave descendants – has called on UK institutions not to repatriate the so-called Benin bronzes. The Group asserts that the Kingdom of Benin (now absorbed into Nigeria) traded in slaves and made the artefacts from material received in exchange for slaves sold to Europeans who subsequently shipped the slaves to the Americas. It wants to prevent the bronzes from being sent back and thus any reward to the historical involvement with slavery.
Our Art and Cultural Property Law team is advising the Restitution Study Group in its push to scrap the repatriation plans in the UK. Partner Till Vere-Hodge commented in The Telegraph in its recent article on the issues around the Benin bronzes and their proposed repatriation, linked with kind permission here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/04/12/oxford-university-return-africa-benin-bronzes-pay-twice/#:~:text=Oxford%20University%20has%20been%20told,the%20process%20has%20been%20delayed