Benin Punitive Expedition
Extract from Benin City of Blood book by Reginald Bacon
There is no evidence of blood on the looted treasures below.
' Effects of Europeans, Phillips's party, found in King's palavar house. '
This much should be remembered:
After obliterating the invading British troop led by Consul Phillips (January 4th 1897), His Majesty, his chiefs and the Benin people took care of Phillips's and his party's effects. They did not steal anything from them, they did not take any of it. They put them in a safe place and took care of them. They did not see other people's property and effects as plunders or booties of war. They respected them in the same manner that they respected the weak and vulnerable and people with disability. We know this from Sir Bacon's account of royal reprieve for the man with the abnormal shaped head who would have otherwise been executed for treason.
... reeks with human blood
In the absence of DNA blood tests and lack of so many human beings to slaughter, it should be taken as a fact that this was a racist slur on the Benin people by the British officers. Photo graphic evidence taken at the time (February 1897) show no evidence of this or for the statement below...
several deep holes in compounds filled with corpses.
Please see the photo gallery below for photographic evidence of the state of Benin during that expedition. This surely is a case of high ranking British officials conniving to spread false rumours about Benin in order to justify their actions back home and to the rest of the world.
As the photographs show, cleanliness and the aesthetics were top priorities for the King and his people.
Apologise to the king and the people of Benin for this grievous misrepresentation of their character should be the right thing to do now.