A handout picture taken on March 17, 2021 at the University of Aberdeen shows Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special…
FILE - A picture taken on March 17, 2021 at the University of Aberdeen shows Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections posing by a bronze sculpture depicting an "Oba" (king) of Benin acquired by the University at auction in 1957.

German officials say they have reached an agreement with Nigeria to return some of the famed Benin Bronzes that were looted from Nigeria in the 19th century.

About 500 of the plundered artifacts are on display in several German museums.

The handoff is expected to take place next year under an agreement reached between Germany and Nigeria on Thursday.

The return of the artifacts is "a turning point in our approach to colonial history," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

In 1897, British soldiers snatched thousands of exquisitely decorated bronze and brass plaques and sculptures created by guilds in the Kingdom of Benin in what is now Nigeria.  The objects have become known as the Benin Bronzes and are on display in museums around the world.

The British Museum has more than 900 of the objects.  

Germany’s agreement with Nigeria pertains only to the artifacts that are in Germany.