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Cultural Heritage: Nigeria

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL824, tabled on 9 June 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to return to Nigeria historic artefacts from the Kingdom of Benin which are housed in public institutions and museums in the UK.

Answered on

21 June 2022

Museums and galleries in the UK operate independently of Her Majesty’s Government. Decisions relating to their collections are a matter for the trustees of each museum.

Some national museums are prevented by law from disposing of objects in their collections unless, broadly, they are duplicates or unfit for retention. The two exceptions to this are when the objects are human remains that are less than 1,000 years old, and objects that were spoliated during the Nazi era. Her Majesty’s Government has no plans to change this law.