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Friday, May 20, 2022

Cambridge University (Jesus College) Return Benin Artefact ‘Okhokhor’

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Cambridge University College Jesus College hands over a bronze cockerel looted from Africa in the 19th century to Nigerian authorities on 27th October.

Jesus College becomes the first U.K. institution to give back one of the artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes. British colonial forces took the Okhukho statue in 1897 from the Court of Benin in what is now Nigeria – among thousands of artworks seized by occupying troops — and it was given to the college in 1905.

The college removed it from public view in 2016 after students protested, saying it represented a colonial narrative. The college set up a working group that concluded the statue belongs to the Oba of Benin, head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Empire.

Master of Jesus College Sonita Alleyne and Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments of Nigeria, Professor Abba Isa Tijani took part in the handing over ceremony.

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