St Cross Fellow and Professor of Contemporary Archaeology Dan Hicks has published his latest book, The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution.
Professor Hicks, who is Curator of World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum, calls for the return of looted objects from European museums. He focuses on the Benin Bronzes, a collection of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks stolen from Benin City (today in Nigeria) during a British naval attack in 1897 - a punitive expedition that brought an end to the Kingdom of Benin. The story of the Benin Bronzes is at the heart of the debate around cultural restitution, the decolonisation of museums, and the repatriation of looted objects. The book is a call to action - Professor Hicks argues that the return of these artefacts must form part of addressing the legacy of colonialism.
Professor Hicks has published an op-ed in the Daily Telegraph which you can read here, and the book has been reviewed in the Guardian. You can watch a recording of the book's launch here, and can find out more about Professor Hicks' work on his website, https://www.danhicks.uk/.