Monday, May 16, 2022

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US seals agreement with Nigeria on cultural artefacts

The United State of America on Thursday signed an agreement with the Federal government of Nigeria to prevent illicit export of Nigeria’s archeological and ethnological materials.

The agreement was signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed on behalf of Nigeria, while US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Bethlonard signed on behalf of the USA, in Abuja.

She said museums in Nigeria lost over four hundred heritage items between 1969 and 1999, including Ife and Benin bronzes, and Nok and Owo terra cotta, wood and ivory sculptural pieces.

The US Ambassador said the agreement would offer an opportunity to both parties to learn from the past mistakes and to preserve Nigeria diverse cultural heritage.

‘‘Today’s agreement will facilitate more robust collaboration of U.S. and Nigerian federal law enforcement and border control agencies whose mission is to identify, intercept, repatriate, and protect cultural property and related heritage works. Their efforts advance our shared interests in combating transnational criminal networks and terrorist organizations that profit from the illicit trade of these sacred objects.”

The deal comes days after Germany reached an agreement with Nigeria for the return of over 1030 Benin Bronzes.

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