600-year-old artifact smuggled out of Nigeria, returned

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A 600-year-old artefact Ife Terracotta that was smuggled out of Nigeria has been recovered from the Netherlands.

According to reports, it was gathered that valuable terracotta head was stolen from the ancient city off “Ile-Ife” and smuggled through Ghana into the Netherlands.

According to the minister of information and culture; Lai Mohammed the artefact is at least 600 years old.

Dutch ambassador to Nigeria Harry Van Dijk on Thursday returned it to Information Minister Lai Mohammed in a ceremony in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

“The smuggler had obtained forged documents” to take it out of the country, Mohammed was quoted as saying in a statement.

Dutch customs intercepted it at Amsterdam airport and “alerted the … Information and Heritage Inspectorate of the Netherlands to give an opinion,” the statement said.

Dutch officials then contacted their Nigerian counterparts, leading to the return of the “priceless and timeless” artefact, Mohammed said.

See photos of the artefact Ife Terracotta below;

Source: kemifilani.ng

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