Swedish Government Agrees to Return Stolen Nigeria’s Benin Artefacts Despite Controversies



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Amidst ongoing controversies, the Swedish government has decided to return 39 pieces of Benin Artefacts housed in its museum to the custody of Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, CFR, the Oba of Benin.

This significant disclosure comes following the recognition of ownership and the vesting of Custody and Management of repatriated Benin Artefacts in the Oba of Benin, as stated in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Gazette No. 57, Volume 110 at pages A245-247 issued on March 23rd, 2023.

The announcement was made during a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin Palace in Benin City, Edo State, by the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency Annika Hahn-Englund. She conveyed the Swedish government’s decision and emphasized the strong trade partnership between Sweden and Nigeria, particularly in infrastructure, telecommunications, energy, and other sectors.

Ambassador Hahn-Englund expressed her honor to be present and paid respects to Oba Ewuare II, acknowledging the cultural and educational cooperation between Sweden and Nigeria. In response, Oba Ewuare II welcomed the decision and thanked the Swedish government for its intervention.

The monarch recounted his request for the return of Benin Bronzes in Sweden during his tenure as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Scandinavian Countries in 1998. He affirmed the continued progress of the federal government-backed Benin Royal Museum project and praised partners for their support.

Oba Ewuare II also commended the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) for its role in preserving Nigeria’s cultural heritage. He shared anecdotes from his diplomatic endeavors and presented a copy of the federal government Gazette on all Benin Artefacts to the envoy as a token of appreciation.

The historic visit was marked by the exchange of souvenirs, underscoring the significance of the diplomatic engagement between Nigeria and Sweden.

This development marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to repatriate looted cultural artifacts and underscores the importance of international cooperation in preserving cultural heritage.

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Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpejihttps://naija247news.com
Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

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