Nigerian News

Swedish Govt to return 39 Benin Artifacts

The Swedish government has said it will return 39 of Benin artifacts in its museum to Oba of Benin, Ewuare II.

The Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Annika Hahn-Englund,  conveyed the Swedish government’s decision when she paid a courtesy visit to the Oba in his palace in Benin, Edo State.

Hahn-Englund also said the trade between Nigeria and Sweden is the second largest market in Sub-Sahara Africa.

She noted that the trade partnerships are in the areas of infrastructure, telecommunication, energy, and other businesses that significantly support the economy of both countries.

She said, “I would like to convey the decision of the Swedish government to return 39 artifacts to the Benin kingdom. This is possible because of the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of culture, education, and trade.

“So, Your Majesty, I am very honoured to be here tonight.”

Responding, the Oba, on behalf of the Edo people,  welcomed the decision and expressed gratitude to the Swedish government.

The Benin monarch recalled how he made a request through the Swedish monarch, His Royal Majesty Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus, during his courtesy visit to him in 1998 in Sweden as the Nigerian ambassador to Scandinavian countries.

The Oba said that the Federal Government-backed Benin Royal Museum project is still on course, and commended partners for their support and devotion towards the project.

The Oba also commended the National Commission for Museums and Monuments for the preservation, promotion, and development of Nigeria’s cultural heritage.

The Oba added, “The demand for the return of looted Benin artifacts has been on since the reign of Oba Akenzua II. I am elated to hear that the return of the artifacts has been approved by the Swedish government. This has been my request for a long time. God’s time is always the best.”


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