The Restitution Study Group Files Lawsuit To Establish Ownership of Benin Bronzes
Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, Executive Director Restitution Study Group, (RSG) a New York–based organization Restitution Study Group is spearheading a lawsuit against the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. to reverse the return of the museum’s 29 Benin bronzes to Nigeria and establish ownership of the ancient and highly valuable artifacts. Farmer-Paellmann joined ePa Live to discuss the lawsuit and the importance of the bronzes.
What To Know
- During a ceremony on October 11th, “The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art transferred ownership of 29 Benin bronzes to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria. The bronzes, which were part of the museum’s collection, were stolen from Nigeria during the 1897 British raid on Benin City. The Smithsonian’s Board of Regents voted to officially remove the bronzes in June in keeping with the Smithsonian’s new ethical returns policy.”
- The transfer project was led by Ngaire Blankenberg, former Director of the National Museum of African Art.
- Blankenberg who left the Museum at the end of March 2023 after less than years leading the iconic museum says she led the museum with “nuance, transparency, and respect.” Reports and other sources, including Farmer-Paellmann says Blankenberg is being forced to resign partly due to her handling of the artifacts.
- RSG won two awards for its short film on the Benin Bronzes, They Belong To All Of Us, at Cannes on May 25th.
ePa Live with Deadria Farmer-Paellmann
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