Looted Nigerian heritage – an interrogatory discourse around repatriation

  • Gundu Zacharys Ahmadu Bello University
Keywords: Culture and heritage; Germany; cultural resources; repatriation;museums; auction houses; art galleriesl; looting


The colonial assault on African culture and heritage culminated in the indiscriminate
looting of African cultural resources, many of which are icons in public and private
museums and institutions in Europe and North America. Many more are in auction
houses and art galleries outside the continent. While there is no comprehensive audit
of these materials, they are estimated to run into hundreds of thousands. In this paper,
attempts are made to identify the different genres of looted Nigerian materials in
Europe and North America. Factors that have continued to exacerbate the looting
of the country’s cultural resources are identified and attempts are made to suggest
possible strategies for the repatriation of these looted treasures.

Author Biography

Gundu Zacharys, Ahmadu Bello University

Professor, Department of Archaeology