These are famous historical African artifacts stolen during colonialism
The British, French and American Museums are filled with stolen artefacts from Africa and other less developed countries.
These monuments are priceless pieces which are symbols of African identity but are now scattered across the world all thanks to colonialism.
Britain and France have been identified as the biggest beneficiaries of this plundering of African cultural treasures. And the number of these artefacts in countries' big museums are unlimited. Many calls for the return of these objects seem to achieve little or insignificant results.
This is due to the aesthetic and monetary value of these objects to the Western countries. But to Africa, these pieces carry history, cultures and identity of the people.
Here are some of Africa’s treasures that were shipped off African shores by the colonial masters
Africa's Stolen Treasures
1. Benin Bronzes, Nigeria
The British invaded the Benin Empire in 1897 and took away the Ahianwen-Oro artworks which were numbered in the thousands.
In 2014, two of the famous Benin Bronzes, the Ahianwen-Oro artwork, were returned to their homeland in 2014 by a British citizen, Dr Mark Walker. Mr Walker inherited these artworks from his great-grandfather, who participated in the battle.
2. Nefertiti Bust and Rosetta Stone, Egypt
The Nefertiti Bust is a 3,400-year-old Bust currently at the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany. It was taken out of the country in 1913, and also Adolf Hitler decided against its return in 1935.
Also, the Rosetta Stone which is now in a British Museum was take away from Egypt in 1799. The Artefact is a 2,200-year-old slab of black basalt with a hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek inscription.
The Germans and British governments are profiting from Nefertiti through millions of visitors coming to their museums to view the art-works.
3. Ethiopian Treasures
During the 1868 battle, the British captured Magdala and looted many treasures from the Ethiopian churches. Some of these items include many historic treasures from the era of Solomon and Sheba.
In 2015, Italian government returned the ancient granite obelisk.
4. The Zimbabwe Bird
The iconic Zimbabwe Bird is an emblem of the country, appearing on the national flag and coat of arms. In 1907, the artefact was taken by a German missionary and sold to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin in 1907.
However, the piece was returned back to the African country in 2003.
5. Bangwa Queen, Cameroon
The Bangwa Queen is noted as the world’s most expensive piece of African art. The artefact was taken from its royal shrine in Cameroon by a German colonial explorer, Gustav Conrau, in the 1890s.
In 1990, the artwork was sold at a New York auction for a record-breaking $3.4 million. This made it the world’s most expensively priced African artwork at the time.
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