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The pieces were originally looted by British soldiers in the late 1890s, following the Benin massacre of 1897. In a statement made by Usman, the commission stated: “Without mincing words, these artworks are heirlooms of the great people of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria generally. They form part of the history of the people. The gap created by this senseless exploitation is causing our people, untold anguish, discomfort and disillusionment.”

The pieces were originally looted by British soldiers in the late 1890s, following the Benin massacre of 1897. In a statement made by Usman, the commission stated: “Without mincing words, these artworks are heirlooms of the great people of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria generally. They form part of the history of the people. The gap created by this senseless exploitation is causing our people, untold anguish, discomfort and disillusionment.”

Nigeria | Royal Benin bracelet; decorated with the head of the Oba on both sides | Bronze; 3kgs weight | 2nd half of the 20th century  || Reserved

Nigeria | Royal Benin bracelet; decorated with the head of the Oba on both sides | Bronze; 3kgs weight | 2nd half of the 20th century || Reserved

Benin bronze hip masks and Benin Oba commemorative heads - RAND AFRICAN ART

Benin bronze hip masks and Benin Oba commemorative heads - RAND AFRICAN ART

Oba-Esigie-of-Benin-Kingdom Bronze -1504-1550 CE

Oba-Esigie-of-Benin-Kingdom Bronze -1504-1550 CE

benin bronze statues | 4245: Benin style bronze statue : Lot 4245

benin bronze statues | 4245: Benin style bronze statue : Lot 4245

Africa | An Ife bronze leopard head from Nigeria | Made using the lost wax technique | ca. 60 years old

Africa | An Ife bronze leopard head from Nigeria | Made using the lost wax technique | ca. 60 years old

Benin bronze of queen

Benin bronze of queen

Africa | Edo ceremonial sword ~ eben.  Benin Kingdom, Nigeria | Brass with ivory handle || Large ceremonial swords were traditionally worn by dignitaries of the Kingdom of Benin or the Oba himself, in honour of his late father.

Africa | Edo ceremonial sword ~ eben. Benin Kingdom, Nigeria | Brass with ivory handle || Large ceremonial swords were traditionally worn by dignitaries of the Kingdom of Benin or the Oba himself, in honour of his late father.

A copper head dated from the late 14th to the early 16th century is thought to represent a venerable person in the Ife kingdom.

A copper head dated from the late 14th to the early 16th century is thought to represent a venerable person in the Ife kingdom.

Africa | Figure of a woman from the Benin Kingdom, Nigeria | 17th - 18th century | Brass

Africa | Figure of a woman from the Benin Kingdom, Nigeria | 17th - 18th century | Brass

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