President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday vowed to continue to pursue the repatriation of Nigeria’s artefacts looted abroad.
The President, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, gave the assurances when he received the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, at the State House, Abuja.
The monarch was in the State House to thank the President on the recent return of two important Benin Bronzes to its original place of abode by the Universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen after 125 years.
Buhari stressed that the Federal Government would continue to work towards the return of important artefacts in the country.
He said: “In furtherance of these efforts, an agreement between Nigeria and Germany is currently being prepared. When concluded, it will signify the return to Nigeria by Germany of all the 1, 130 Benin Bronzes in Germany public museums. This will be a monumental achievement.
“Furthermore, on the 7th of this month, the Glasgow City Council agreed to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. The legal issues are in process of being sorted out.
“Other success stories include the return by the Netherlands in October 2020 of a 600-year-old Ife Terracotta; the return in April 2021 of a Bronze Piece from Mexico; as well as the repatriation of, in November 2021, two Benin Bronzes and an Idea Bronze head from Metropolitan Museum, New York.
“We are looking forward to a return when these returned antiquities and our arts and culture shall be deployed in generating revenue for the nation.
“I am glad to hear that the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) are already working towards this by reaching out to other nations and cultural institutions on traveling exhibitions to showcase the rich culture of Nigeria through these antiquities.
“This can happen when officials in charge of these priceless things take due care to maintain and preserve these treasures in good condition at all times.”