Benin Bronze

Benin is a website dedicated to Bronze Sculptures from the Great Benin Kingdom.

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The bronzes came into limelight after the British Punitive Expedition of 1897. The palace of the King of Benin was pillaged, the ceremonial artworks carted away, the city burnt and made desolate, with the King (Oba Ovonranmwen) sent to exile in Calabar.

The looted artworks, were sold off in the UK to offset the cost of the expedition. Many of the bronzes found themselves in British museums and in the hands of private collectors all around Europe.

The intricacy of design, the level of craftsmanship and understanding of the Lost wax process of Bronze making changed the perception of the International art world towards African Art. Prior to the exhibition, there had generally being a condescending attitude regarding African Art. The general picture of African art were of caricatures and figures generally lacking in realism.

The arrival of the Benin Bronzes changed that perception. The bronzes have gained notoriety as highly sought after Tribal African Art. Original pieces have soared above the Million dollar mark at Sothebys and Christies Auctions.

However, there’s a strong call for the return of the Bronzes back to Benin City. That the Bronzes have a ceremonial role, that they represent culture and history of a people, that they are needed back home.

As one of the representatives of the Nigerian Government said at the Ethnografiska museet in Stockholm in November 2009, at the opening of the Permanent exhibition of Benin Art “If you find an illegal immigrant with no visa on the streets of Europe what do you do? You deport him. So, if you find illegal Bronzes with no purchase receipts in the museums of Europe, what do you do? You return them.

Benin presents to you the Royal Art of Benin. We present to you, Bronze heads, leopards, bronze masks, and virtually all types of sculpture cast in Bronze and Brass by the artisans of Benin. We take you on a journey to the streets of Benin City as the artists create unique pieces of art using the most basic of equipments. Get teleported 500 years in time as we share the historical basis of the bronzes. Come back to life as you meet one on one with contemporary works.

We offer museum quality replicas for sale, we engage in trips in and out of Benin and can help you source for customized Bronzes. contact today.