The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has formally received the repatriated Ife Terracotta from his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, in company of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Harry van Dijk.
While receiving the artifact in his office in Abuja yesterday, Mohammed said the return of the stolen Ife Terracotta marked a milestone in Nigeria’s efforts at pursuing the return of the country’s antiquities.
He said the Ife Terracotta was smuggled from Nigeria through Ghana to The Netherlands in 2019 with a forged document.
“It gives me profound joy to receive this very important antiquity, an Ife Terracotta, which is dated to be at least 600 years old. I am even more delighted that our efforts at pursuing the return of Nigerian antiquities, which we launched last November, have started yielding fruits,” he said.
He stressed that government’s resolve to seek the repatriation of the nation’s timeless and priceless.