The Brutish Museums

The Brutish Museums The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution

Hardback (20 Nov 2020)

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Synopsis

New York Times 'Best Art Books' 2020
'Essential' - Sunday Times
'Brilliantly enraged' - New York Review of Books
'A real game-changer'- Economist

Walk into any Western museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin. They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.

Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes - a collection of thousands of metal plaques and sculptures depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria. Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.

The Brutish Museums sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums. Since its first publication, museums across the western world have begun to return their Bronzes to Nigeria, heralding a new era in the way we relate to the objects of empire we once took for granted.

Book information

ISBN: 9780745341767
Publisher: Pluto Press
Imprint: Pluto Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 069.4
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 1512
Number of pages: 345
Weight: 600g
Height: 160mm
Width: 239mm
Spine width: 30mm