EU countries agree to repatriate Benin artifacts

EU countries agree to repatriate Benin artifacts

European countries (EU) have agreed to repatriate Benin artifacts back to Nigeria but for a period of three years before it will be loaned back to the EU countries for years.

The Federal Government has been working on repatriating the artifacts stolen from the Benin kingdom centuries ago.

Acting Director General National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) Abdulkerim Kadiri, who made the revelation, said that Nigeria’s antiques are really treasured all over the world.

He said: “Nigerian artifacts all over the country are really valued and treasured which is why our pieces create a lot of sensation over the world.

“We are trying our best now to restitute, to collect whatever artifact we have abroad back into Nigeria especially all those that were exported out of our country without passing due process.

“We are presently interacting with the entire world not just one country, in October last year we were in the Netherlands where we attended the Benin dialogue group.

“Most of our artifacts are in Europe, remember in the 1897 Benin expedition where the Europeans invaded the Benin kingdom and took hundreds of thousands of our artifacts out illegally and these artifacts which are highly valued have found themselves all over the world through Europe, America, Asia etc.

“All the participating countries in Europe have agreed that these objects should be returned back to Nigeria.

“For that we have agreed that a Benin palace museum will be built in Benin in addition to the National Museum that we already have where this antiquities will be returned and exhibited for a period of three years then loaned to the member participating countries to be taken around the world rather than leaving them in one place and that is the agreement we had but the aim is to ensure that they are finally restituted and brought back to Nigeria.”

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