Oba of Benin takes custody of retuned artefacts 

The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has taken custody of two looted Royal stools that was  returned by the German government in 2022.

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments, (NCMM) Director General, Mr Olugbile Holloway on behalf of the federal government made the presentation to the Benin monarch on Saturday at the Oba of Benin palace in Edo State.

The artefacts — Bronze and wooden Royal stools (Ekete),  were handed over to National Commission for Museums and Monuments, (NCMM) by the German authorities in 2022.

The items were reportedly made during the reign of Oba Eresoyen and Oba Esigie several Centuries. They were however looted from the Oba’s Palace during expedition in 1897.

Oba Ewuare who was excited, danced joyfully to Benin traditional rendition in a dramatic dance steps, which excited Chiefs and members of the Royal family.

The royal father thereafter in a rare, but  historic move,  sat on one of the Royal stools (Ekete) and personally presented a white chunk which symbolizes peace and blessings to the DG of NCMM.

He appreciated the German, federal government and the NCMM leadership for their efforts.

The NCMM DG on his part said the Commission will work-hand-in hand with the Benin Royal Court in uplifting and displaying Edo heritage.

He revealed that as the Benin Bronzes and other Art works are gradually making their way home, adding, “NCMM will join hands with the Royal Court to create a befitting destination for people around the world to come and appreciate these works”.

According to him, “I speak for every member of my team, to say that we remain loyal to the Royal Court. And if there is anything we can do, we will do to support this laudable initiative.

“This heritage is not just Benin heritage, but Nigeria’s heritage.

When we speak of Benin heritage, there is nobody that doesn’t know the great works of ours.”