Looted Nigerian heritage – an interrogatory discourse around repatriation

  • Zacharys Anger Gundu University of Ibadan,
Keywords: Culture and heritage, Germany, cultural resources, repatriation, museums, auction houses, art galleries, looting


The colonial assault on African culture and heritage culminated in the indiscriminate looting of African cultural resources, many of which are icons in public and private museums and institutions in Europe and North America. Many more are in auction houses and art galleries outside the continent. While there is no comprehensive audit of these materials, they are estimated to run into hundreds of thousands. In this paper, attempts are made to identify the different genres of looted Nigerian materials in Europe and North America. Factors that have continued to exacerbate the looting of the country’s cultural resources are identified and attempts are made to suggest possible strategies for the repatriation of these looted treasures.

Author Biography

Zacharys Anger Gundu, University of Ibadan,

Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu (takuruku@yahoo.com) holds a Ph.D in Archaeology from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He teaches archaeology at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and is a distinguished Senior Fulbright Scholar. He also sat on the Council of the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) between 2013 and 2016 and was Vice President of the Pan African Association of Prehistory and Related Studies from 2014-2018. He also served as the Secretary of the Archaeological Association of Nigeria (AAN) between 198 and 1992
and President of the Association between 2010 and 2018. He is Editor of the Journal of Nigerian Field Archaeology. He is also a Fellow of the Archaeological Association of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (Nigeria). Prof. Gundu is currently Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the Benue State University, Makurdi. Nigeria.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2343-6530