Germany is to return precious artefacts that were plundered from Nigeria during colonial era in late-19th century. world-famous Benin Bronzes are currently on display at museum in Leipzig. The Bronzes comprise collection of more than thousand metal plaques, sculptures and statues. They were created by Edo people in what used to be the Kingdom of Benin from 13th century. They decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now Nigeria. Most of objects were looted by British forces in 1897. Two hundred pieces were taken to British Museum in London, while others went to museums across Europe. Nigeria has tried for decades to get them repatriated.
Experts say 16th-18th century returning pieces are among most highly regarded works of African art. Many Nigerians are welcoming their return. Nigeria's Institute for Benin Studies said Germany is, "leading in global restitution movement" of former colonial powers returning looted treasures. It said: "Other European nations should be willing and open to acknowledge that all objects looted in 1897 belong to Benin people. Like Germany, they too should initiate or join dialogue to discuss future of these objects." However, some Nigerians believe objects are safer in Europe. One man said: "With insecurity now, the safety of those artefacts cannot be guaranteed."