Ancestral stools returned by German government, to the Oba of Benin


The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, has taken custody of two looted royal stools from the German government.

The artefacts: bronze and wooden royal stools (Ekete), made during the reign of Oba Eresoyen and Oba Esigie several centuries ago, were looted from Oba’s palace during the punitive expedition in 1897, reports The Nation.

The looted ancestral stools were handed over to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), on behalf of the Nigerian government, by the German authorities in 2022.

The Director-General of NCMM, Mr. Olugbile Holloway, made the presentation yesterday, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, at the palace of Oba of Benin in Benin, Edo State.

Holloway pledged on behalf of NCMM, to work hand in hand with the Benin Royal Court in uplifting and displaying Edo heritage.

He revealed that as the Benin bronzes and other artworks were gradually making their way home (Nigeria), NCMM would join hands with the royal court to create a befitting destination for people around the world to come and appreciate the works.

Director-general of NCMM said: “What you see before us were originally taken away from the royal family in 1897. We have a stool made of bronze and a wooden stool.

“I speak for every member of my team, to say that we remain loyal to the royal court. And if there is anything we can do, we will do it, to support this laudable initiative.

“This heritage is not just Benin heritage, but Nigeria’s heritage. When we speak of Benin heritage, there is nobody that does not know the great works of ours.

“I appreciate you, we will always do what we can do with our powers to make His Royal Majesty lineage in memory.”

The Oba of Benin, according to his Chief Press Secretary, Osaigbovo Iguobaro, after unveiling the repatriated artefacts, danced joyfully to Benin traditional rendition in a dramatic dance steps, with excited chiefs and members of the royal family, and offered prayers to Almighty God and his ancestors.

The first-class monarch also appreciated the German government, the federal government of Nigeria, and the NCMM for their efforts.

The foremost traditional ruler, in a rare, but historic move, sat on one of the royal stools (Ekete), personally presented a chunk of white, which symbolizes peace and blessings, to the director-general of NCMM.

The Oba of Benin also prayed for Holloway and his team, including the Curator, National Museum, Benin, Mr. Mark Olaitan; and the Director, Legal Services, NCMM, Babatunde Adebiyi; while wishing them well, in the service of their fatherland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *