STATEMENT FROM THE BENIN DIALOGUE GROUP. NATIONAAL MUSEUM VAN WERELDCULTUREN, THE NETHERLANDS, 19th OCTOBER 2018.

 
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The Benin Dialogue Group is a multi-lateral collaborative working group that brings together museum representatives from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom with key representatives from Nigeria.

A central objective for the Benin Dialogue Group is to work together to establish a museum in Benin City with a rotation of Benin works of art from a consortium of European museums in collaboration with the Edo State Government and the Royal Court of Benin, with the support of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria.

On 19th October 2018, at the National Museum of World Cultures, the Netherlands, the Benin Dialogue Group agreed a number of proposals towards the establishment of a new museum in Benin City (Benin Royal Museum) where a permanent display of Benin art works from European and Nigerian museums will be shown. His Excellency Mr Godwin Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State, presented concrete plans for the Benin Royal Museum being developed by the Edo State Government and the Royal Court of Benin with the support of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria.

The Benin Dialogue Group (2018) discussed the development of the new museum in Benin City to which all the listed European and Nigerian partners will contribute from their collections on a rotating basis. The agreement is that all parties will work to a three year time frame for the delivery of a permanent display of the historic arts of Benin, including some of the most iconic pieces.

The Benin Dialogue Group established a Steering Committee composed of representatives from European museums (Museum am Rothenbaum, Kulturen und Kunste der Welt (MARKK); Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin; British Museum London; NVWW), the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria, Edo State Government and the Royal Court of Benin. This Steering Committee is formed to drive forward the decisions made in Leiden by the Benin Dialogue Group.

These are significant steps forward to realise the goals agreed at the previous Benin Dialogue Group meeting (2017, Cambridge).

The Benin Dialogue Group will meet again in 2019 in Benin City, Nigeria, in 2020 at the British Museum, London, and in 2021 at the Museum am Rothenbaum, Kulturen und Kunste der Welt (MARKK) in Hamburg.

As the planning of the Benin Royal Museum moves forward in Benin City, the European partners will provide advice, as requested, in areas including building and exhibition design...

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