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Nigeria to receive stolen antiquities from US, Scotland in October – Mohammed



The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Saturday the Federal Government would receive some stolen antiquities from the United States and Scotland in October.

Mohammed disclosed this in Lagos while briefing journalists on the federal government’s efforts to repatriate the country’s stolen artifacts across the world.

The government is also expected to receive 1,130 looted artifacts from Germany before the end of next year.

The minister said: “In March 2021, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland agreed to return a Benin Bronze from its collections.

“We shall take possession of this in October this year.

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“We have also secured a date in October 2021 for the repatriation of antiquities from the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

“These antiquities consist of two important Benin Bronzes and an exquisite Ife Bronze head.”

He said the development was one of the successes recorded by the campaign he launched in November 2019 for the return and restitution of Nigeria’s looted artifacts across the world.

Mohammed recalled that in October 2020, the Netherlands returned a highly-valued 600-year-old Ife Terracotta while Mexico returned a bronze piece in April.

He added: “The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has also agreed to return a disputed Benin artifact.

“We will soon commence the procedure for the repatriation of this highly-valued piece.”

Mohammed said the country is currently before the Inter-governmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation (ICPRCP) in Paris, France.

According to him, the case was filed before the committee against a Belgian who wanted to auction an Ife Bronze head valued at $5 million.

The minister said the Ife Bronze antiquity had been seized by the London Metropolitan Police pending the decision on who is the real owner of the cultural asset.

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