There are 57 objects from Benin in the Weltkulturen Museum collection, made of metal, wood and ivory. The exhibition “Retrospective” examined when they entered the collection and under which conditions. In “Perspectives” we are looking to the future. Various cultural actors from Nigeria and the diaspora will have their say: the illustrator and designer Osaze Amadasun reinterprets major events from 16th-century Benin in his series “Once Upon A Kingdom. Multi-media artist Mayowa Tomori uses 3D scans to question the accessibility of objects in museum collections. Seun Adeyemi creates graphic works that give a voice to historical objects from the Kingdom of Benin. In her novel “Butterfly Fish”, author Irenosen Okojie links aspects of the history of the Kingdom of Benin with the life of a young woman in present-day London.

These works reveal how important it is for the young generation that they explore their cultural heritage and find new ways of expressing it. The works of art are supplemented by interviews with scholars from Nigeria which were conducted by historian Rasheed Hassan in Benin City in 2023. We want to ensure that these voices are heard. What is their attitude to the debate on restitution? And how do they imagine the future of these objects?

Part 2 "Perspectives":
11 October – 30 December 2023

Weltkulturen Labor, Schaumainkai 37
Admission free

Curators: Julia Friedel und Audrey Peraldi (Africa Curator)

Participating artists and scientist and their works: Seun Adeyemi, Osaze Amadasun, Rasheed Hassan, Irenosen Okojie and Mayowa Tomori

You missed the first part of the exhibition?
You can view a 360° tour of the first part of the exhibition under the following link!

Further information: The German Lost Art Foundation is funding research into the provenance of objects from the Kingdom of Benin. You can find more about the six-month research project here: