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Repentant Germany signs accord to return stolen Nigerian artifacts, Benin Bronzes

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Germany and Nigeria have signed a memorandum of understanding for the return of centuries-old sculptures known as the Benin Bronzes that were taken from Africa in the 19th century.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Culture Minister Claudia Roth, as well as Nigeria’s Culture Minister Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairo Dada.

The German Foreign Minister admitted “it was wrong to take the bronzes; it was wrong to keep them for 120 years.”

Two pieces of artifacts, a head of a king and a relief slab depicting a king with four attendants were handed over to commemorate the return of the pieces.

 

“This is just the beginning of more than 1,000 pieces from the Kingdom of Benin that are still in German museums, and they all belong to the people of Nigeria,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. “It was wrong to take the bronzes; it was wrong to keep them for 120 years.”

 

The bronzes “are some of Africa’s greatest treasures, but they are also telling the story of colonial violence,” Baerbock said.

African arts litter many museums in Europe and North America. Some of the countries have sought to resolve ownership disputes over objects looted during colonial times.

One of such museums, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, an authority that oversees many of Berlin’s museums, announced last year that it was beginning formal negotiations on returning pieces that are in its collection.

According to washingtonposthundreds of African artifacts were sold to collections such as the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, which has one of the world’s largest groups of historical objects from the Kingdom of Benin, estimated to include about 530 items, including 440 bronzes. Many of them date from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Historyextra reports that Benin Bronzes are a collection of more than 3,000 figures and other decorative pieces looted by the British in 1897. The artifacts are housed in at least 161 public and private collections scattered around the world.

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Anger in Morocco after France denied visa to rapper El Grande Toto for concert

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A cross section of Moroccans have expressed anger following the French Immigration Services denying the visa application of Morocco’s biggest rapper, El Grande Toto, who was scheduled for a concert at the Semi Festival in Sete, France.

Toto who is unarguably the biggest rap artiste in North Africa, was lined up for the concert which was to hold on Thursday, but could not make it due to the Visa denial by the French authorities.

As a result of the development, the Moroccan rapper’s entire European tour scheduled for August and September has now been canceled as he became another victim of France’s decision to limit the amount of Schengen visas it issues to Moroccans.

El Grande Toto who posted the news on his official Instagram account on Friday, stated that “having a visa today is like playing the lottery. It’s like a game of chance. I’m really getting tired of it.”

The news has also caused consternation in the North African country as many have called for the country to reciprocate the action and deny French diplomats from coming into the country till the music act gets justice.

El Grande Toto is facing a familiar terrain as he was denied visa for an event in Egypt last year on account of “his status as a rapper,” he had posted on his Facebook page.

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Kenyan Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, celebrates father as he wins governorship election

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Kenyan Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, has celebrated her father, Prof. Peter Anyang Nyong’o, after he was declared the winner of the governorship election for the Kisumu county for a second and final term.

Lupita’s father was announced winner on Wednesday following Kenya’s general elections held on Tuesday.

Following the announcement, the US-based multiple award winning actress took to her verified Twiter handle to congratulate her father, and also thanked the people of the Kisumu county for voting for him.

“ABICH MORO! Congratulations to my Daddy and THANK YOU to the people of Kisumu for their overwhelming support at the polls. @AnyangNyongo #5moro #TichTire,” she wrote.

Prof. Nyong’o was a former Senator representing Kisumu County from 2013 to 2017, before he contested and became the county’s governor on the ticket of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

He was also a Member of Parliament for Kisumu Rural constituency, having been elected on a NARC ticket in December 2002.

Prof. Nyongo’o began his political career in 1992 when he was first elected to parliament and served as a nominated MP from 1998 to 2002.

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