Herrmann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, said on Thursday that the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to return the artefacts looted during the British invasion of Benin city in 1897.
The remarks were made to journalists in Benin by the president of the foundation, who was part of a German delegation to Edo State. While describing the delegation’s visit, Parzinger said that it would pave the way for future cultural ties between Germany and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said, “I am quite touched to see how vivid this culture is. The Benin bronze is outstanding, and we are happy we can give Benin bronzes back to Benin and Nigeria.
“This museum is state-of-the-art if you compare it internationally. We are happy that the objects will go back to this museum.
So, we want your cooperation and we want to support you in capacity building, training, and education. We want to learn from you about the knowledge of Benin bronze. We really want to open a new chapter in our relations, especially in the area of cultural cooperation.
For the return of the stolen bronzes, he also sought the support of all stakeholders in Edo State and Nigeria at large.
The delegation’s leader, Andreas Görgen, Director-General of the German Foreign Office’s Directorate-General for Culture and Communications, earlier said the visit to Edo State was to demonstrate the joint willingness of five German Federal states, the Federal Government of Nigeria, and the five museums that own Benin bronzes to proceed with the looted artefact’s return to Nigeria and restitution.
Görgen, praised Nigeria’s government and Germany’s federal republic for their efforts to return the bronzes. Here a video of Görgen with promises of a restitution of the looted artefact.