Rawson and Moor: The Capture of Benin City (1897)

Some extracts from the first offical reports sent back to London about the actions undertaken by the British admiralty forces in the »punitive expedition« of 1897 to Benin City, provide a sense of the discourse that justified the destructions that occured in the city and the looting of cultural and cultual objects from the abandoned city that ensued. Transcribing such texts for easy online retrieval always presents the potential of contributing to a reproduction by other readers of the discursive violence that they represent, but the chosen extracts provide very important elements for understanding the destiny of Benin’s architecture and cultural objects, and the dispersal of Benin royal objects in museums and private collections across Europe.

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