Saturday, November 14, 2020

David Adjaye’s Newest Museum Design to Bring the Benin Bronzes Home

By Alex Marshall
David Adjaye in London last year. Mr. Adjaye, is also the architect behind the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, part of the Smithsonian InstitutionDavid M. Benett/Getty Images
LONDON — In 1897, the British Army violently raided Benin City in what is now Nigeria, seizing thousands of priceless artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes. Ever since, there have been hopes of bringing them back from Western museums. On Friday, hope got a little closer to reality with the release of the first images of the planned Edo Museum of West African Art, which will house some 300 items on loan from European museums — if the money to build it can be raised. The three-story building, designed by David Adjaye, looks almost like a palace from the ancient Kingdom of Benin. Mr. Adjaye intends it to be completed in five years, he said in a telephone interview. [More