The National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM), says a Belgian has threatened institute a litigation against the Nigerian government to stop the return of one of the Ife bronzes currently in his possession.
Prof. Abba Isa a Tijani, Director-General of the Commission disclosed this at a joint press Conference with the Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed at the weekend in Lagos State.
The DG of NCMM said: “The funny thing is that he wants us to compensate him for this artifacts otherwise he will go to court to claim ownership. How can somebody steal something from you and expect you to pay compensation to him?
“It will amount to setting a dangerous precedent, which means that any other artifacts that are stolen, the person can claim to be paid compensation.
“So, under the 1970 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention, it says that any illicit trafficked artifacts would have to be claimed”, he said.
Recall that Nigeria minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in 2019 visited United Kingdom to engage the Government on how get the Belgian release the looted bronze to Nigerian government.