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What are the Benin Bronzes?

Updated Wednesday 25th November 2009

In the late 1800s, the Benin Empire in Africa was a hotbed of artistic skill and the British wanted a piece of it - as many pieces as they could steal, in fact. But what were the beautiful Benin Bronzes and did the current Queen of England really fence stolen goods.

In the late 1800s, the Benin Empire in Africa was a hotbed of artistic skill and the British wanted a piece of it - as many pieces as they could steal, in fact. But what were the beautiful Benin Bronzes and did the current Queen of England really fence stolen goods.

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Shameful relic or a celebration of an ancient culture? Explore more deeply with The Open University.

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[Thanks to the commenters who pointed out the typo - as the video says, the incidents took place in the late 19th century; the 1800s, not the 1900s. Apologies for the mistake.]

 

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