His Royal Majesty, Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, CFR has notified the Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria, Ambassador Wouter Pomp on the significance of Nigeria’s Presidential declaration in the recognition of ownership and an order vesting custody and management of repatriated looted Benin artefacts in the Oba of Benin.
Recall that the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Notice No. 25 in the official Gazette No. 57, Volume 110 at pages A245-247, dated March 23, 2023 laid to rest, the simmering tussle between the Oba and Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki over who to be the custodian of the artefacts.
Reacting to comments by the Ambassador of Netherland’s on the future of repatriated Benin Bronzes Oba Ewuare II said, the future of the Benin Bronzes and artefacts are in the gazette.
The Oba noted that “They are spelt out clearly the ownership, custody, and management, which is vested in the Oba as an institution. That is the law”.
He emphasized that the ongoing plans for the construction of Benin Royal Museum Project at the instance of the Nigerian government is on course.
According to him, “It is a federal government project to build the Benin Royal Museum. We have been on it for some time now.”
Addressing the Benin throne earlier, the Ambassador congratulated Oba Ewuare II for redirecting the course of history
He pledged his government support in strengthening the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the area of employment, forced migration and cultural diplomacy.
“We are very interested in all the history of the Benin Bronzes, some of which as you are aware are still in the Netherlands. Contacts are underway between Netherlands Commission for Monuments and the Commission for Monuments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
There has been meetings between the Commissions about the future of the Benin Bronzes”, Ambassador Wouter said.