Tag Archives: Benin’s cultural artifacts

WORLD — Latest reckoning for slavery and colonialism: reclaiming looted national treasures – By Mohamed Hamaludin


The Rosetta Stone – British Museum

The British conquered all of India in 100 years and then ruled for another century. Economic exploitation was so massive “that its share of the global GDP went from 24.4 percent to 4.2 percent,” the New Yorker’s Sam Knight reported, citing a 2003 estimate by British economist Angus Maddison.

Untold numbers of cultural treasures were stolen, an act known in Hindi as “lut,” translated into loot. English soldier Robert Clive and his family looted several important artifacts which, Knight reported, are kept in the Clive Museum in England. But the British National Trust acquired around 90 percent of the collection.

Worldwide calls for slavery reparations are being matched with demands for the return of such looted cultural treasures, including the 26-piece “Abomey Treasures.” They were stolen from the 700-year-old Benin Empire, which the British sacked and burned in 1897; they ended up in British museums six months later.            Continue reading

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