Handblown & sculpted glass with micro bore copper pipe, copper wire & steel chain.
Dimensions 30 x 25 x 25 cm
Benin City, originally called Edo, was once the capital of a pre-encounter African empire in what is now southern Nigeria. It was one of the oldest states in west Africa, dating back to the 11th century. At the height of the scramble for Africa, the “Benin expedition” of 1897 led to British troops punitively sacking the ancient city after it defied the British empire by imposing customs duties. The city’s walls – at the time the world’s largest earthworks created in the pre-mechanised era and four times the length of the Great Wall of China – were razed. The city was burned to the ground and its treasures looted.
Much of Benin’s artworks and artefacts were taken to Britain where many were auctioned as war booty or gifted to museums across Europe.Hundreds of the stolen artefacts still reside in museums, galleries, universities and private collections across the UK. The Benin bronzes, in particular, remain the subject of demands for repatriation.