CONF: The Benin Bronzes. Globalising the Colonial Looting of Art (Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, 25-26 Oct 2022)

To conclude the research project of the same name, the conference, ‘The Benin Bronzes. Globalising the Colonial Looting of Art‘ will take place on 25/26 October 2022 in the lecture hall of the Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg. The project members and other experts from Germany and Nigeria will present current research on how the British Army looted the bronzes of the Palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1807 and on their sale and perception. They will also address current debates on restitution and political consequences in an evening lecture and panel discussion. The conference is organized by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer and the Research Center‚ Hamburgs (post-)Colonial Legacy/Hamburg and Early Globalization‘.

If you are interested in attending the conference, please register by 16 Oct 2022 at

Preliminary Programme:

25 Oct 2022

Introduction: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer (UHH)

Colonial Looting – Soldiers and Traders in the Contact Zones
Dr. Idahosa Osagie Ojo (Benson Idahosa University, Benin City/NDA Kaduna)

The Colonial Looting and Internationalisation of the Benin Bronze Sculptures 
Dr. Julia Binter (SPK Berlin)
Trade, Imperial Contact and Relating to the Past in the Niger Delta
Panel Host: Paula Dahl (UHH)

Keynote by Dr. Kwame Opoku: The Benin Bronzes, Restitution and Decolonization. The Debate on Colonial Loot and Reparations

Conference Dinner

26 Oct 2022

Traders and Markets – Moving Colonial Loot
Jonas Ehrsam (UHH)
Trade Networks of the Benin Bronzes since 1897
Talip Törün (ZLB Berlin)

German Maritime Markets for non-European Artefacts
Panel Host: Myriam Gröpl (UHH)

Shifting the paradigm – Layers of Identity in Looted Objects
Sani Yakubu Adam (Bayero University Kano)

Colonial Loot and Competing Narratives of African Art
Isabel Eiser (UHH)

Becoming an Emblem. From Colonial Propaganda to Decolonial Movement. A Discourse Analysis on the ‚Benin Bronzes‘
Panel Host: Dr. Diana M. Natermann (UHH)

Concluding Discussion: Loot and Restitution – Where do we go from here?
Prof. Dr. Kokunre Agbontaen Eghafona (University of Benin)
Prof. Dr. Osarhieme Benson Osadolor (University of Benin)
Prof. Dr. Barbara Plankensteiner (MARKK Hamburg)
Prof. Dr. Ojong Echum Tangban (NDA Kaduna)
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer (UHH)