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Gov Obaseki demands Nigerian govt’s support on repatriation of stolen Benin artifacts

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The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday requested the Federal Government’s support on the repatriation of stolen Benin artifacts from abroad.

The governor made the call when he met the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Obaseki, who later briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said the state government in collaboration with partners had completed arrangements to set up a museum for the artifacts in the state.

He expressed optimism that when the museum would be a tourist attraction and source of revenue for the state when completed.

Obaseki said: “I just decided to pop in to see the Chief of Staff and to just touch base on a few issues, particularly as it relates to the artifacts.

“I’m sure you know that we have been in conversations with the federal government on the artifacts. Lots of Benin artworks are in Europe and the Americas.

READ ALSO: Obaseki says plans underway for another airport in Edo

“We have had conversations on how to return these works, particularly as some countries have indicated their interest and desire to return the works.

“I just come to brief the Chief of Staff on the steps that have been taken on the level of collaboration with the federal government, and the plans to build a museum in Benin that will host these works.”

On the readiness of the state government to receive the artifacts, the governor added:

“Like I said, a lot of work has been done. We have the legacy restoration trust, which is currently obtaining resources from very, very interested donors across the world.

“We expect that by the last quarter of this year working with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, we should begin the construction of a pavilion, a world-class pavilion that will meet all the conditions required by which these works can be kept.”

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