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The Brutish Museums: the Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution
Title: The Brutish Museums: the Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution
Authors: Dan Hicks
Material Type: printed text
Publisher: London : Pluto Press, 2020
ISBN (or other code): 978-0-7453-4176-7
Size: 345
Languages: English
Class number: 04.4.1 (History of colonialism in Nigeria)
Keywords: History ; History of Africa ; History of West Africa ; History of Nigeria ; History of colonialism in Nigeria ; Benin Kingdom ; Arts ; Violence
Abstract: Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin. They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.?Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes - a collection of thousands of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria. Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.?The story of the Benin Bronzes sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums. In The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks makes a powerful case for the urgent return of such objects, as part of a wider project of addressing the outstanding debt of colonialism.

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