Oba Of Benin Receives Looted Ancestral Stools

Oba of Benin Artefact

The German government has handed two looted royal stools to Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, CFR, the Oba of Benin, symbolizing progress in returning cultural artefacts.

Historical records indicate that the artefacts, including Bronze and wooden Royal stools (Ekete), crafted during the reigns of Oba Eresoyen and Oba Esigie centuries ago, were looted from the Oba’s Palace during the punitive expedition in 1897.

In 2022, the German authorities, on behalf of the Nigerian government, handed them over to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

The Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Olugbile Holloway, represented the Federal Government as he presented on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Oba of Benin’s Palace in Benin City.

While presenting the artefacts to the Benin throne, Holloway pledged, on behalf of NCMM, to collaborate closely with the Benin Royal Court in enhancing and showcasing Edo culture and heritage.

He revealed that the Benin Bronzes and other artworks are gradually making their way home to Nigeria, saying, “NCMM will join hands with the Royal Court to create a befitting destination for people around the world to come and appreciate these works.

“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 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 doesn’t 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. 

Following the unveiling of the repatriated artefacts, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, CFR, the Oba of Benin, danced joyfully to a traditional Benin rendition, executing dramatic dance steps alongside enthusiastic Chiefs and members of the Royal family, and later offered prayers to the almighty God and his ancestors.

The first-class traditional ruler, who was overwhelmed with joy, appreciated the efforts of the German, Federal, and NCMM leadership.

In a rare but historic move, the royal father sat on one of the Royal stools (Ekete) and personally presented the Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Olugbile Holloway, with a chunk of white, which symbolizes peace and blessings.