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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