Germany to return Benin Bronzes looted during colonial era

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is returning hundreds of artifacts known as Benin Bronzes that were mostly looted from western Africa by a British colonial expedition and subsequently sold to collections around the world, including German museums. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Friday welcomed a deal reached with museums to work on a restitution plan for the artifacts together with Nigeria. Germany’s minister for culture said the country is “confronting our historic and moral responsibility.” The first returns are planned for next year. The Ethnological Museum in Berlin has one of the world’s largest collection of historical objects from the Kingdom of Benin, estimated to include about 530 items including 440 bronzes.