Dan Hicks: Returning the Loot
How do post-colonial countries like Britain reckon with museum collections acquired by nefarious means? For example, in 1897 the British government despatched 5,000 soldiers to attack the capital of the Kingdom of Benin. They seized and sold at least 5,000 bronze objects, which are now dispersed among 160 museums. Dan Hicks, a professor of archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford makes a compelling case for the restitution of the so-called Benin Bronzes in his searing book, The Brutish Museums. But is simple repatriation enough? Today, Hicks shares his ideas.