Committee on stolen artefacts set up

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The House of Representatives has constituted an adhoc committee to design an approach to be adopted, for repatriation of historical artefacts carted away from Nigeria.

The constitution of the ad-hoc committee followed a motion unanimously adopted at the plenary, calling for an investigation into the Nigerian lost artefacts presented by Mr. Ayokunle Isiaka from Ogun State.

Moving the motion, Isiaka explained that many of the artefacts carted away from Nigeria had been sighted in schools, institutions and museums in the United States and Europe.

He added that Nigerians, especially the coming generations, were being deprived of the opportunity to experience major artistic works which reflected Nigerian historical culture and heritage.

The lawmaker explained that if eventually repatriated, the artefacts could be used to generate revenue for the country while boosting the tourism potentials of the nation.

“While the USA, France, Switzerland and Germany display Nigerians famous arts and antiques to attract tourists and earn revenue for their governments, Nigeria has lost its cultural goods for the foreign land.

Also, valuable national antique pieces like Nok Terracotta baker (Eagan) Monoliths, lower Niger bronzes, Calibre Terracottas, carted from Nigeria are seated in Musee du quai, Paris.

History beacons on the House to initiate measures that would lead to the return of these masterpieces of Nigerian art to the country to aid the nation’s cultural renaissance.” he said.

Nigerian artefacts were carted away, especially during the colonial period now adorn various structures in the western world.