In order to get precious Benin artefacts returned to the state after several decades of losing them in the British expedition, the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has met with German officials in Benin City.
The meeting was to finalise modalities for the return of the first piece of art works to be returned by Germany next year.
Obaseki said the visit by the German delegation was a major milestone in realising the dream of restoring the heritage of Edo people and preserving their sense of identity and culture.
Whilst assuaging the worries of global stakeholders over the safety of the artefacts when returned, Obaseki re-assured that work on the Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) would be expedited to house the artefacts.
The governor had also facilitated the meeting between the German officials and the federal government agencies in Abuja during which the Minister of Culture and Information, Lai Mohammed, parlayed with the visiting delegation.
Similarly, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, who received the German delegation in his palace, said the stolen artefacts had “deep spiritual/religious significance to the palace and the people.”
The director-general for Culture and Communications of the German Foreign Office, Andreas Gorgen, led the five-man delegation to the state.
He disclosed that the visit was to testify to the joint willingness of five Federal States of Germany, the federal government of Nigeria and the five Museums holders of Benin bronzes to proceed to the restoration of the looted artifacts to Nigeria and Benin City in particular.