Inside Story

Western museums are returning artefacts to countries of origin

A museum in London has returned its entire collection of Benin Bronzes to the Nigerian government.

London’s Horniman Museum has returned its collection of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. They were stolen in the late 1800s by British colonial troops after they invaded the Kingdom of Benin in what is now Nigeria.

The artefacts ended up in museums in Europe and the United States.

African states have sought their return for decades.

So, how can other countries ensure their cultural treasures are given back and can go on display for generations to come?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Barnaby Phillips – Author

Jos van Beurden – Senior researcher, Colonial Cultural Collections and Restitution, Free University, Amsterdam

Luigi Prada – Professor of Egyptology, Uppsala University