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Foreign Minister Maas after the top-level meeting on the Benin Bronzes

30.04.2021 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gave the following statement today (29 April) after the top-level meeting on the Benin Bronzes: 

Thanks to the agreement we have just reached with the museums and their funding providers on a road map for the restitution of objects, we are now at a turning point in how we engage with our colonial history. For months, we worked hard to create the necessary framework conditions. 

We placed the issue of museum cooperation with Africa on our political agenda, and we embarked on discussions with our Nigerian partners, the architect and the initiators of the new museum in Benin. We have put together a package that includes archaeological cooperation, training of museum managers and cultural infrastructure capacity-building, and we will continue to develop this package with our Nigerian partners. 

Even though we still have some way to go, the Federal and Länder authorities and the museums are now making a concerted effort, and we will find solutions together with our Nigerian partners.

Additional content

On Thursday, 29 April 2021, at the invitation of the Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, a digital meeting took place on the further handling of the Benin Bronzes in German…

Statement on the handling of the Benin Bronzes in German museums and institutions

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