The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that approximately 7,000 artefacts stolen from Benin Kingdom by Germany will be returned to Nigeria in October.
According to The Nation, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, made this known at the inaugural Nigerian Cultural Show held at the Cultural Centre of Nigeria House in New York, United States of America (U.S.A).
He said the reparation of the artefacts would go alongside the construction of an ultramodern museum in Edo State and the training of select curators to man the artefacts.
According to him, Nigeria and Germany have reached an advanced level in their negotiations to return thousands of various pieces of Benin bronzes to the country.
Alongside relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the ministry had been at the forefront to facilitate the repatriation of thousands of Benin artefacts from the Republic of Germany, he added.
Aduda said: “We are working with relevant MDAs. We have had several high-level meetings with the Republic of Germany and we are at a stage where thousands of art works 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.
“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. They are training 25 curators who 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.”