Nigeria is planning to use legal and diplomatic instruments to claim the country's looted and smuggled Artifacts, especially during the 19th-century wars

A bronze statue that was looted from Nigeria more than a century ago is about to be repatriated [Chris Loades/Jesus College Cambridge via AP]
  • Nigerian government plans to use both legal and diplomatic instruments to claim its artifacts littered around the world.
  • Lai Mohammed, the country's Minister of Information and Culture, says the government is embarking on the Campaign For The Return and Restitution of Nigeria's Looted/Smuggled Artifacts.
  • A 2018 Savoy-Sarr report by France revealed that about 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage currently lies outside the continent. 

The Nigerian government said it is ready to use both legal and diplomatic instruments to claim its artifacts littered around the world.

Lai Mohammed, the country's Minister of Information and Culture, gave this warning on Thursday, November 29th, 2019, in Lagos.

Mohammed said the government is embarking on the Campaign For The Return and Restitution of Nigeria's Looted/Smuggled Artifacts from around the world.

With this announcement, we are putting on notice all those who are holding on to Nigeria's cultural property anywhere in the world that we are coming for them, using all legal and diplomatic instruments available."

He questioned why artifacts such as Ife Bronze or Benin Bronze can belong to any other part of the globe except Nigeria.

“We have never laid claim to the Mona Lisa or a Rembrandt. Those who looted our heritage resources, especially during the 19th-century wars, or those who smuggled them out of the country for pecuniary reasons, have simply encouraged the impoverishment of our heritage and stealing of our past,” he added.

According to a 2018 Savoy-Sarr report conducted by France, about 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage currently lies outside the continent.

The Guardian UK reported that the French government promised to return the artworks in its museums to the countries unless where it is proven that they were obtained legitimately.

On Thursday, Associated Press reported that the Cambridge University in Britain is also set to return a bronze statue of a cockerel looted from Nigeria more than a century ago.

Like France, UK, Brazil, and others have also expressed willingness to return some of the artifacts to their origins.

The issue of repatriation of African artifacts continues to attract global attention in the Euro-African relationship. It will take a serious government to make moves aimed at recovering its cultural heritage.

Our newsletter gives you access to a curated selection of the most important stories daily.

Welcome to the Pulse Community! We will now be sending you a daily newsletter on news, entertainment and more. Also join us across all of our other channels - we love to be connected!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Sadio Mane the odd one out as Bayern Munich stars take team photo with glasses of beer

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, adds extra $915 million to his vast wealth in Q1 2022