Nigeria reclaims stolen artefact from Netherlands

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Nigeria has reclaimed a terracotta head believed to originate in Ile Ife – South Western Nigeria which was smuggled through Ghana to the Netherlands with fake documents.

The artefact which is said to be 600 years old was seized by Dutch Customs at Schiphol Airport in 2018. The retrieval comes after ascertaining the country’s ownership and successfully winning the case against the suspected smuggler.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama in the company of Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Harry van Dijk handed over the terracotta head to Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in his office in Abuja.

Alhaji Muhammed while commending the efforts of all parties involved in the retrieval process attributed the return of the terracotta head as a victory in the quest to recover all Nigerian artefacts.

The retrieval process which first began with the Nigerian Embassy in Netherland according to Kabiru Musa, Charge d’ Affaires at the embassy is in compliance with the 1970 UNESCO Convention of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import and export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.

Africh Royale

Africh Royale

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