The Mexican Government has delivered to Nigeria on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, a bronze sculptor from the ancient city of Ife, which dates as far back to the 6th century.
The sculptor from the first millennium era was seized by customs agents at the Mexico City airport as its buyers tried to bring it to the country.
The sculptor shows a man wearing woven pants and a hat, sitting with his legs crossed and holding a local instrument.
A specialist from the National Institute of Anthropology and History Diego Prieto, revealed in a press conference that it was a piece of Yoruba origin.
The piece was delivered during a ceremony at the headquarters of Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretariat by Julian Ventura, Mexican Deputy Secretary to Aminu Iyawa, Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico.
During the delivery, Julian noted that Mexico and Nigeria are multi-ethnic and multilingual nations; therefore, they are committed to the fight against theft, robbery and looting of cultural property.
Aminu Iyawa responding to the return of the ancient artifact acknowledged the work of the Mexican authorities in the recovery of the sculptor.
“The return of this piece to his people, beyond a gesture of friendship, is an action that joins to the global call to return the heritage legacy that was once plundered to their countries of origin, many of them with a colonialist past like Nigeria and Mexico,” he said.
It comes at a time when the world continues to discuss the plundering of art from several countries during colonization, with the countries demanding that their stolen art be returned.