France returns looted Benin bronzes
French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed the return of looted artifacts to the republic of Benin.
The president was a special guest at the ceremony marking the return of The 26 items, known as the “Abomey Treasures,” that were pilfered from the African nation by the French army 129 years ago.
During the ceremony, the wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones, and sacred altars, were displayed for thelast time in France at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac before they will be repatriated in November.
Macron remarked that the return of the items to their country of origin represented a moment of unity between the two nations.
“With this repatriation, we are opening new horizons rather than entrenching old divisions. Horizons of cooperation of change of sharing and it’s in this spirit that we along with our partners in Benin have pledged this extremely emblematic return, “the president said.
The treasures’ new home will be a museum in the city of Abomey which has been partly funded by the French government.
It will be recalled that the British government is also set to return all stolen artifacts to Nigeria.