No fewer than 7,000 artefacts taken from Benin Kingdom are expected to be repatriated by Germany to Nigeria not later than October, Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, disclosed this at the inaugural Nigerian Cultural Show exhibiting Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage, sites and traditional festivals held at the Cultural Centre, Nigeria House, New York.
Aduda also said the reparation of the artefacts would go with building an ultramodern museum in Edo State and the training of some curators that would man the artefacts.
He said Nigeria had reached an advanced stage of discussions with Germany to return thousands of different pieces of Benin Bronzes back to the country.
He also noted that the ministry had been at the forefront alongside relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to facilitate the repatriation of thousands of Benin Bronzes from the Republic of Germany.
“We are working with relevant MDAs, we have had several high-level meetings with the Republic of Germany and we are at stage where thousands of artworks are to be returned to Nigeria.
“There are over 7,000 different pieces of artefacts that Republic of Germany wants to give back to Nigeria,” he said.
“We have talked deep into this that the reparation is not only at giving back, but they are coming to put a modern day museum in Edo State and they are training 25 curators that will man the museum for sustainability.
“We have gone far and we are thinking that this will be concluded in October this year. We are hoping it will be a window to reach out to other European countries to return to us what was taken from us years back,” he said.