The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Thursday, appreciated authorities in Mexico for returning an ancient sculpture belonging to the people of Ife, Osun State, South-West Nigeria, and by extension, the Yoruba people.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, received the artifact from the Chargé d’Affaires of the Nigerian Mission in Mexico, Dr. Yakubu Dadu.
He added that the government was committed to ensuring that Nigerian cultural artifacts scattered across the world would sooner or later be recovered.
“Beyond the national value to Nigeria, the bronze figure is an object of iconic cultural, traditional and religious importance to the Yoruba people, as well as a critical part of their history and heritage resources.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all well meaning Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to notify relevant agencies of artefacts suspected to be of Nigerian origin where they find any such, as the present Government is willing to engage and return such priceless assets,” the ministry stated in a Facebook post.
According to the ministry, the object was spotted at Mexico City in 2017 by Ambassador Aminu Alhaji Iyawa and since then, efforts were being made to bring it back to its place of origin.