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Britain and the Benin Bronzes

Barnaby Phillips

(author)

Hardback
A tragic story of British empire run amok and the plunder of great works of art
In stock
SKU
9781786079350
Price £17.40 RRP £20.00

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The new updated edition of David Olusoga’s vital book on black British history

"Groundbreaking" – Observer

'A fascinating and timely book.' William Boyd

'Gripping...a must read.' FT

'Compelling...humane, reasonable, and ultimately optimistic.' Evening Standard

'[A] valuable guide to a complex narrative.' The Times

In 1897, Britain sent a punitive expedition to the Kingdom of Benin, in what is today Nigeria, in retaliation for the killing of seven British officials and traders. British soldiers and sailors captured Benin, exiled its king and annexed the territory. They also made off with some of Africa's greatest works of art.

This is the story of the 'Benin Bronzes': their history before the British took them, their fate since 1897, and the intense debate about their future. When they were first displayed in London their splendour and antiquity challenged the prevailing view of Africa as a continent without culture or history. They are now amongst the most admired and valuable artworks in the world. But seeing the Benin Bronzes in the British Museum today is, in the words of one Benin City artist, like 'visiting relatives behind bars'. In a time of huge controversy about the legacy of empire, racial justice and the future of museums, what does the future hold for the Bronzes?

More Information
Book publisherOneworld Publications
Publication date1 Apr 2021
FormatHardback
Pages400
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