Nigeria wants auction of African artifacts in Paris scrapped | AfriTV Online

A Nigerian commission has made calls for the auctioning of sacred Nigerian statues and other artifacts in Paris to be scrapped, arguing that the items were stolen. French courts in recent years have ruled in favour of auction houses whose sales of sacr...

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Nigeria wants auction of African artifacts in Paris scrapped

Published by: Tobillionaire
06/29/2020 07:02 PM

A Nigerian commission has made calls for the auctioning of sacred Nigerian statues and other artifacts in Paris to be scrapped, arguing that the items were stolen. French courts in recent years have ruled in favour of auction houses whose sales of sacred objects, such as the Hopi tribal masks, were challenged by rights groups and representatives of the related tribes.

 

Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments alongside a Princeton scholar, Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu raises an alarm earlier in the month that the said objects were loots from the spoils of the Biafran War during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Christie's auction house, which houses the auctions wrote earlier this month to the Nigerian commission to defend the sale, saying it would go ahead because the art pieces were acquired legitimately and are being sold lawfully because they were publicly exhibited and sold in previous times most especially in last decades prior to their involvement. Okeke-Agulu, who is a member of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria, said the objects were forcefully taken from his home state of Anambra within the South-Eastern part of the country and that they shouldn’t be sold.

 

Over the years, Paris has held a track record of acquiring and selling of tribal artifacts tied to colonial Africa, and to Paris-based groups in the 1960s, like the "Indianist" movement which celebrated Indigenous tribal cultures.

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