There is currently a lot of debate about returning the looted Benin treasures to Nigeria and to the Edo people. A little caution is advised here.
My view is that this is not a simple matter that can be easily addressed with return of the treasures. I am hoping that during the course of 2017 which marks 120 years since that fateful event, sufficient discussions would have taken place to enable people make up their minds as to the merits of both sides of the argument.
This web site will endeavour to present various evidence including minute perusal of written accounts of the Expedition itself by those involved and thorough analysis of the evidence of how the treasures i.e. the Benin Bronzes have fared in their new homes.
Our ancestors who went to great length to produce them did so for a reason. Quite simply, they wanted their story recorded, preserved and told for posterity. This is the point that must be borne in mind and must guide anyone engaging in discussions about these works.
The beauty in the Benin Bronzes and the other works is that they talk to us. We should listen to them and take their points forward in considering today's world.
Should they stay or should they go? Listen hard and you will hear what they are saying to us.
More to follow.