in 1897, a British unit sacked and burned the royal palace at Benin. The raid was as a reprisal for the earlier murder of a trade delegation. During the raid, the British appropriated all the art they could carry out as war booty. Thus, African art was carried away without recording any information about its original location or purpose, and its context was lost to scholars. This scenario has been repeated numerous times through the years in many times and places.
Discuss whether the destruction and dispersal of such artworks are normal and natural consequences of human conflict. Explain what you think scholars should do as examples of this type of lost art begin to appear in public collections or museums.
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