French Envoy Returns Artifact Illegally Exported from Nigeria
Denys Gauer, the French Ambassador to Nigeria says the just repatriated NOK Terracotta may not have much monetary value but has a lot of cultural value.
Gauer made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the celebration of the International Museums Day Celebration on Wednesday in Abuja.
“Monetary value doesn’t mean much; it has cultural value; monetary value can change overtime but cultural value will always remain for Nigeria’s cultural development,” he said.
He said that his country would continue to repatriate Nigerian stolen Artifacts from France back to the country.
He said that the NOK Terracotta just presented to the minister of information and culture was the fourth time his country was doing that.
“Presently, we do not have a Nigeria’s artifacts in France; any time we discover them, we will bring them back to Nigeria; this is the fourth time we are doing such. In fact, the two NOK Terracotta earlier mentioned was discovered in Paris by French customs officers; these artifacts were only a transit in France. It was sent from Togo with the U. S. as destination but French Customs intercepted them which appeared clearly as cultural element. We met the experts on the artifacts and it appears that it was coming from central Nigeria; that was why we decided to bring it back to Nigeria,” Gauer said.
The French Ambassador explained that Nigeria and France had signed conventions against illicit trafficking of cultural status or object “what is important is this shows that it is possible”.
He, however, said that by being a signatory to the convention, it was legally binding for the two countries to implement the agreement without relenting.