600-Year-Old Stolen Artifact Given Back To Nigeria From The Netherlands!

NIGERIA MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE 600 YEAR OLD YORUBA TERRACOTTA HEAD

YourBlackWorld.net, By Victor Omondi, Posted January 8th 2020

A terracotta head that had been smuggled to the Netherlands through Ghana from Nigeria has been returned, said Nigeria’s Information minister, Lai Mohammed.

The artifact, which was stolen from the southwestern city of Ile-Ife, is believed to be at least 600 years old. Ife, also known as Ile-Ife, or the Kingdom of Ife, is considered one of the largest and ancient towns of the Yoruba Kingdom. It’s renowned for its clay ceramic or terracotta heads, and copper-alloy and bronze ornaments.

In a ceremony that took place on Thursday in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, Harry Van Dijk, The Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria, presented the returned piece to Mohammed.

Mohammed said that the smuggler had acquired fake documents to facilitate exit out the country with the “priceless” terracotta head.

At Amsterdam airport, the artifact, on suspicion that it was illegally imported, was seized by the Dutch customs who then “alerted the … Information and Heritage Inspectorate of the Netherlands to give an opinion,” said the statement from the ministry of culture in Nigeria.

Dutch officers then communicated with their Nigerian equivalents, which led to the return of the precious work of art that was handed over at the Abuja ceremony.

The artifact has been placed at the Nigeria conservation Laboratory where it was taken for cleaning and treatment before being displayed to the public, said the minister.

In his speech during the event that coincided with the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Heritage, Mohammed saw it as a timely gift to mark the occasion. He added that the handover was made public so that other countries would in the same manner return previously stolen artifacts to their home countries.

It’s worth noting that a lot of Nigerian artifacts, some of which are Benin bronzes that were stolen during the pre-colonial and colonial era, are still in museums in the United States and Europe.

The minister of information stated that Nigeria will continue to pursue the retrieval of such artifacts.

Smiley face Smiley face Smiley face Smiley face Smiley face