Prince Edun Akenzua, an African prince has called on Britain to return a historic artefact looted during the colonial era.
The sculpture, currently on show at Bristol Museum, is one of a group of heirlooms stolen during a bloody invasion of Benin City in west Africa by the British in 1897.
The so-called ‘Benin Bronzes’ are a group of more than 1,000 plaques and sculptures that adorned the royal palace of the Oba (king) of Benin.
The collection has been dispersed around the world for more than 100 years, mostly in European museums and private collections.
Speaking on BBC Inside Out West this evening, Prince Edun Akenzua of the Royal Court of Benin says: ‘We are appealing to Bristol Museum to blaze the trail for the international community or private holders of the Benin cultural property to get them returned.’
The highly detailed bronze bust at Bristol Museum (pictured above) has not been valued but a similar sculpture has sold for more than £1million.
Jon Finch, head of culture at the city council, which runs the museum, said it had no idea it was stolen.
He said it had been used to educate tens of thousands of children about other cultures.
He added: ‘We’re very happy to explore with the prince the opportunity of returning the object.’ – METRO UK