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New York Times 'Best Art Books' 2020

'Essential' – Sunday Times

'Brilliantly enraged' - New York Review of Books

'A real game-changer'– Economist

Walk into any Western museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin. They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.

Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes - a collection of thousands of metal plaques and sculptures depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria. Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.

The Brutish Museums sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums. Since its first publication, museums across the western world have begun to return their Bronzes to Nigeria, heralding a new era in the way we understand the collections of empire we once took for granted. 

This audiobook edition, beautifully narrated by actor Ben Onwukwe, is a perfect choice for learning on the go.

List of Plates


Preface to the Paperback Edition

1. The Gun That Shoots Twice

2. A Theory of Taking

3. Necrography

4. White Projection

5. World War Zero

6. Corporate-Militarist Colonialism

7. War on Terror

8. The Benin-Niger-Soudan Expedition

9. The Sacking of Benin City

10. Democide

11. Iconoclasm

12. Looting

13. Necrology

14. ‘The Museum of Weapons, etc.’

15. Chronopolitics

16. A Declaration of War

17. A Negative Moment

18. Ten Thousand Unfinished Events

Afterword: A Decade of Returns

Appendix 1: Provisional List of the Worldwide Locations Of Benin Plaques Looted in 1897

Appendix 2: Provenance of Benin Objects in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford (the ‘First Collection’)

Appendix 3: Sources of Benin Objects in the Former Pitt-Rivers Museum, Farnham (the ‘Second Collection’)

Appendix 4: Current Location of Benin Objects Previously in the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Farnham (the ‘Second Collection’)

Appendix 5: A Provisional List of Museums, Galleries and Collections that May Currently Hold Objects Looted from Benin City in 1897






Publié par
Date de parution 20 août 2022
Nombre de lectures 71
EAN13 9780745347806
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1691 Mo


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