Nigeria is expecting to receive from Germany no fewer than 1,130 Benin bronzes taken away many years ago.
Naija News understands that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the repatriation of artefacts have been signed by both countries.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed this after receiving a German government delegation in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to Mohammed over hundreds of Benin bronzes would be returned to Nigeria from the world power by 2022. The minister said a team of experts will leave Nigeria soon to engage with stakeholders in Germany on the return of the artefacts.
Mohammed claimed that though the country acquired the artefacts through global trading, it agreed to voluntarily relinquish them to further strengthen bilateral ties.
He said: “The return of the artefacts will further cement the relationship between Nigeria and Germany. Culture today has become one of the effective tools for soft diplomacy.”
Director-General for Culture and Communication, German Federal Foreign Office, Dr Andreas Gorgen said the repatriation will contribute to healing the wound inflicted by the looting.
Gorgen hailed Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments for its efforts.
On the delegation were Director of the Museum at Rothenbaum, Prof. Barbara Plankensteiner; President, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Prof. Hermann Parzinger and German Ambassador to Nigeria, Birgitt Ory.