The University of Aberdeen has said it will return a Benin Bronze to Nigeria, many years after the British looted the sculptures.
In a statement on Thursday, the university explained it has previously repatriated sacred items and ancestral remains to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“An ongoing review of the collections identified the Head of an Oba as having been acquired in a way that we now consider to have been extremely immoral, so we took a proactive approach to identify the appropriate people to discuss what to do,” the school said as it became the first institution to agree to the full repatriation from a museum of a Benin bronze.
The bronze sculpture showing an Oba (king) of Benin was acquired by the University in 1957 at an auction and is believed to be a great example of Benin Late Period Art
“It would not have been right to have retained an item of such great cultural importance that was acquired in such reprehensible circumstances,” the university added.
“We, therefore, decided that an unconditional return is the most appropriate action we can take, and are grateful for the close collaboration with our partners.”