These extracts are from a long speech made by Oba Erediauwa of Benin (r. 1979–2016) at the ceremony commemorating the centenary of the 1897 expedition. It was during the invasion of the city that the British naval forces exiled Erediauwa’s predecessor, Oba Ovonramwen and carried away as war booty or loot a large part of the crafted royal objects that could be found in the abandoned town. The Great Benin Centenary Committee was created in 1992, when the palace commemorated the 1892 trade treaty signed with consul Henry Gallwey as a measure to allow for British commercial expansion through the Oba’s territory. It was accompanied by a major international conference including many Nigerian and foreign scholars and it led to the idea of organizing an even more ambitious event to coincide with the centenary.
commented by Felicity Bodenstein