The Art of Benin Essay

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Pages: 4

Why is the ownership of Benin Art so controversial?
The ownership of Benin Art could have been so controversial for a number of reasons. Most notably I would say, is due to the Anthropologists seeing it as a cultural insight into the history of Benin however when people were introduced to start looking at the artefacts from also a more artistic approach, this, for the anthropologists was taking the cultural effect away from it. Some people may have felt hostile to how these artefacts were obtained from Benin to start with. We are informed that they were forcibly removed from their origin by the Westerners and therefore, the natives, especially, felt that this was and is where they belonged and not in a European Gallery. Some see it
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It’s also important to look at it from the British perspective, for instance, a World Museum has opened up, the only way to make it a world museum would be to display artefacts, writings etc from all over the world. If they were to not include the Bronzes, then this separates African culture from the rest of the world, which in this day and time would only result in the world moving backwards as opposed to going forwards. Segregation should no longer be encouraged, but excluded.
By displaying the Artefacts of Benin in the World Museum, this signifies a respect and unity of the Africans as much as any other Country and culture. It allows people to learn more about the African culture than anything else could, as unlike writings taken from people’s own accounts, artefacts cannot be exaggerated, misconstrued or unclear. They are and will always be what they were made to, initially.
ON a whole it seems to be people’s own personal opinions which can make this such a hotly debated topic, however, both arguments hold very valid and reasonable views and are to be respected all the same. When you have come from a situation where you are left to feel inferior to the opposition, (Africa-Europe) by no fault of their own, it has always can be