Benin City National Museum

The Benin City National Museum is home to priceless ancient art, history, antiques of Benin Empire and other artifacts from around the country. Among them are terracotta, bronze figures and cast iron pieces. The museum was built and opened in 1973.

The British captured Benin City in 1897, dethroned the Nigerian King and emptied the Palace of its treasures. When the British troops were drawing near to Benin, many artifacts were hidden away. These artifacts are exhibited in the Royal Palace while others are on display in the Benin City National Museum together with archaeological materials excavated in more recent years. But more than 2000 artifacts were moved to England to be sold on auctions. The received money might cover war expenses against Benin. At the beginning Benin priceless treasures considered as war trophies, but very soon were recognized as masterpieces of art.

Today, these Benin artifacts are spread across museums and art collections all over the world. During the end of 1940s and 1950s, the British Colonial Administration purchased sold artifacts in the auction on behalf of Nigeria. As the result, a large and representative collection of Benin treasure becomes pride and heritage of the whole country. Some of these can now be found in the Royal Palace while others are on display in the Benin City National Museum together with archaeological materials excavated in more recent years.

It is a nice place to learn more about famous Benin Empire and spend time with benefits. Children often ask parent for visiting the museum. You can also walk around the Benin City National Museum to see the other historical landmarks of this place. Some people said: “Benin is the only Kingdom in Africa followed by United Kingdom”. Educate yourself about unique Benin kingdom visiting the Benin City National Museum.