For centuries the west African kingdom of Benin has produced outstanding artworks of immense cultural value. The invasion and looting of Benin by British military forces in 1897 resulted in the sale and dispersal of thousands of these artworks into European and North American museums, including the National Museum of Scotland.
Today we are working to understand and share more about the provenance of these objects and the history and legacies of British imperial and colonial actions in Africa. As a member of the Benin Dialogue Group, we are committed to the reunion of these artworks through loans to a new museum being built in Benin City, Nigeria.
You can see a selection of Benin artworks on display in the Artistic Legacies gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.