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Nigeria receives stolen artifacts from U.S Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the United States on Wednesday, completed the return of three artifacts to Nigeria.

The artifacts retrieved are two 16th-century brass plaques looted in Benin over a century ago, and a 14th century Ife brass head.

They were handed over to the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

It was learnt that the Benin artifacts were obtained by the museum from a New York collector in 1991, and the Ife head was retrieved from a private seller who reached an agreement with authorities to return it after he first tried to sell it to the museum without obtaining legal title.

The Met director, Max Hollein said, “The Met is pleased to have initiated the return of these works and is committed to transparency and the responsible collecting of cultural property.”

Prof. Abba Isa Tijani, NCMM Director-General applauded the museum for its commitment to ensuring that the artifacts return to their origins.

Also, Met signed an agreement with NCMM to formalise a shared commitment to ‘future exchanges of expertise and art’.

Tijani said, The NCMM understands that there are great opportunities for collaborations of all sorts, including traveling exhibitions with many of these exquisite objects. The NCMM shall jointly with as many willing partners as possible pursue this under prospective agreements.”