£450 in 1928 is worth £19,765.00 in January 2017 (Nearly £20,000.00).
The looters simply enriched themselves from sales of Benin treasures.
It should be noted that Mr. Locke himself did not get to Benin City on either of the expeditions. On the ill-fated expedition of January 1897, he was stopped by the Benin Strike Force and was one of the two survivors. During the expedition of February 1897, he was on leave in England recovering from his ordeal during the last one.
It is therefore false to claim that he collected relics whilst on a mission to the King of Benin. His colleagues had already looted Benin City of all valuable relics and burned the rest in the great fire. Mr. Locke is selling a stolen collection of relics from Benin City.
The statement that Britain invaded Benin to put a stop to human sacrifice is also false. As was accepted by everyone at the time in 1897, this happened because Oba Overami of Benin refusing to sign over his kingdom, was the only obstacle to Britain opening up markets in the hinterland of the Southern Protectorate.
This claim of human sacrifice is simply the victor's ploy to deflect blame for the destruction of Benin City and looting of its treasures from himself.
1) Akenzua E. The Case of Benin, Memorandum submitted by Prince Edun Akenzua, UK Parliamentary Business, Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence, APPENDIX 21, March 2000 Accessed: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmcumeds/371/371ap27.htm
2) Bacon, R. H. Benin City of Blood, 1897, p18
3) Bacon, R. Admiral Sir, Benin Expedition, A Naval Scrap-Book, First Part, 1877 – 1900: 197 – 207
4) Benin City Battle 1897, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2HHWsr3A2M
Accessed: 9 January 2017
5) Boisragon A, The Benin Massacre, 1897, page 180
6) Moore, R. Benin Expedition, 1897 – February 22 1897 – Commons Sitting – HC Deb 22 February 1897 vol 46 c964; The First Lord of Admiralty on the Motion “That this House do now adjourn,”
7) READ C.H, & DALTON O.M. ANTIQUITIES FROM THE CITY OF BENlN AND FROM OTHER PARTS OF WEST AFRICA IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM, 1899, PAGE 7
8) Roth, H. L. 1903 appendix 11 cited Roth N. F. A DIARY OF A SURGEON WITH THE BENIN PUNITIVE EXPEDITION'
9) THE BENIN EXPEDITION. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE ADVANCE. DEFIANT MESSAGE FROM THE KING. (REUTER’S SPECIAL SERVICE) SAPELE, BENIN RIVER, Publication: Guardian 1821 – 2000; Date: Feb 9, 1897; Section: None; Page 8