US museums return trove of looted treasures to Nigeria from colonial days
The national museums are coming back to Nigeria from the past, having been looted by those who held power.
The museum in the National Museum of the Armed Forces, Abuja.
It is the first time that the British museum since 1947 has come on board the Nigerian museum scheme.
The former British Museum also returned the collection of antiquities looted from Benin.
The museum opened on August 4 at the National Museum of the Armed Forces, Abuja.
It is a space that has been used to host other significant cultural, archaeological and scientific exhibitions.
“They are very excited, they were looking to come back to Nigeria because of how well Nigerians have embraced the British museum,” said Dr. Omolara Oyediran, President of the museum’s International Committee.
He said the museum would open every day in the week leading up to the Independence anniversary.
The museum will be exhibiting artefacts and documents from the past 100 years.
It will be one of the country’s largest museums yet, with exhibits ranging from coins, jewellery, weaponry to art and books, dating from the late 1800s.
“The museum is an extension of the history of Africa, we are a part of the world culture. It’s like the Black Book of Africa because it tells the story of Africa,” the museum’s curator, Mr. Emmanuel Ogey, said.
He said the museum had returned some priceless artifacts from Benin, Nigeria’s former colony.
Oyediran said that while Nigeria was recovering from the Boko Haram insurgency, the museum had not been forgotten.
“It’s something we can do well, we need more than just the National Museum. We need it to be a centre of culture,” he said.