Posts tagged with "benin bronzes"

Restitution Study Group Take Fight Over Benin Bronzes to United Nations

Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, Harlem, USA’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and Antonio Isuperio of Brazil, representing the Restitution Study Group, delivered a compelling statement at the United Nations, urging action on the ownership and management of the Benin bronzes.

The statement was delivered during the Arts and Culture Panel Discussion at the 3rd session of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent in Geneva, Switzerland. The session commenced on April 16th and continued until April 19th.


The Restitution Study Group’s statement outlined five key points:

  • Recognition: Emphasizing the slave trade origin of the Benin bronzes, calling for global acknowledgment of this historical context.
  • Inclusion: Advocating for the inclusion of Afrodescendants in the global management of these cultural relics.
  • Ownership Rights: Asserting Afrodescendants’ rights to ownership of the Benin bronzes.
  • Provenance Research: Proposing the implementation of the PFPAD protocol for provenance research, considering the slave trade origin of the Benin bronzes and all African artifacts to prevent repatriation to slave trader heirs and ensure protection of the moral ownership rights of Afrodescendants.
  • Healing Dialogue: Encouraging dialogue between Nigeria, the Benin kingdom, and Afrodescendants on the issue of the slave trade Benin bronzes for mutual understanding and healing.

They also announced the forthcoming establishment of the Benin Kingdom Museum in Harlem USA — a place for cultural heritage education, atonement and healing.

The Restitution Study Group’s impassioned plea at the United Nations reflects a global call for justice, recognition, and healing concerning the ownership and legacy of the Benin bronzes.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, J.D., M.A., Executive Director
Restitution Study Group – – 917.365.3007

Establishing Ownership Of The Benin Bronzes

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

Part I


Part II


ePa Live: Question Of The Day