Kiwara-Wilson distinguished herself among 32 students at 22 different law schools. In an official LCCHP statement, Executive Director Tess Davis cited this year’s competition as one of the most competitive on record. LCCHP was founded in 2004 to further the preservation of cultural heritage both domestically and internationally through education and advocacy. One of its missions is to expose current law students to the evolving field of cultural heritage law and the competition aims to further this goal.
Spanning 40 pages, Kiwara-Wilson’s article follows the course of the West African Benin bronzes and ivories seized by British troops during the Punitive Expedition of 1897. Also known as the Benin massacre, the expedition ravaged the Benin kingdom, located in what is now Nigeria, and plundered the royal family’s collection of ceremonial art—including a large number of brass plaques. Britain auctioned off much of the artwork to neighboring states to relieve the cost of the elaborate expedition.