Benin Redisplay

The Horniman will be working with partners and communities following the transfer of ownership of items taken by force from Benin City.

In November 2022, the Horniman transferred ownership of 72 objects to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

These objects were forcibly looted from Benin City in 1897 during a British military incursion, and then purchased by Frederick Horniman and held in the Horniman’s collection for over 120 years.

Six of the objects were physically returned to the NCMM in November 2022 while the rest remain at the Horniman on loan. Some of these are currently on display in the World Gallery and in the Music Gallery.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens will be working with local community groups, young people and creatives in London and Nigeria to co-curate an updated Benin display. The co-curation process may result in a request by the Horniman to extend the loan of some of the Benin objects (the current loan agreement is for one year).

Keep an eye on this page for updates as the project progresses.