Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has recently taken a major step by returning 22 artefacts looted in the 19th century back to Nigeria. These artefacts, known as Benin Bronzes, are of spiritual and historical significance for the people from the ancient Benin kingdom. The return of these artefacts is part of a deal made earlier this year to transfer ownership of more than 1,000 of these objects. Germany had been holding around 1,100 of the estimated 5,000 that were taken. This is a significant stage, as it not only acknowledges the wrongs that were done to the people of the Benin kingdom, but also actively works to undo the damage that was done. Not only that, but this is also a sign of good faith and an important stride towards the relationship between Germany and Nigeria. Germany has also acknowledged committing genocide during its occupation of Namibia and has returned human remains to that country. This is another crush in the direction and shows that Germany is taking to address its past and to build stronger relationships with the countries it has wronged and hopefully other countries will follow suit in actively trying to right the wrongs of the past.

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