Week 2: Art from West Africa

This video gave a nice introduction to Benin in a very engaging manner. It brought us through the civilisation and what’s left today!  As for the issue of whether the Benin Bronzes should be returned to Benin is debatable, some may argue that Benin may not have the technology or resources to maintain the Benin Bronzes but I do believe if the Benin government have the intention of recovering the Benin  Bronzes, they will definitely find a solution to manage and store these precious artefacts!

Both the Benin Bronzes and Qin Terracotta Warriors are created using lost wax bronze casting method and many replicas of Qin Terracotta Warriors can be seen in many different countries today. Lost wax casting provides exact shapes which leads to lower material cost and certain processes can be “templated”. I got a random thought, perhaps a replica of Benin Bronze can be reproduced just like the Terracotta Warriors, so it can be circulated for display into different countries.

If lost wax bronze casting is not available, some museums may look into the use of 3D scanning and printing to showcase the various artefacts. (Some will question the authenticity but I believe it will definitely be better than showing pictures of Benin Bronzes on flat panels)

 

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