Benin Bronzes

The Benin Kingdom in modern day Nigeria was founded in 1180 and continued to exist until 1897. During the 1500s and 1700s, Benin produced  its greatest artwork such as the best Benin Bronzes, which are sculptures made of different materials (not only bronze).

Back then, the Benin Bronzes were primarily used to decorate the royal palace. In 1897, the British empire occupied Benin and most of the artwork was looted and sent to different locations and museums worldwide. There still exist more than 1000 sculptures.

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English-speaking Wikipedia user Warofdreams [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons