Two stolen artifacts from Nigeria belonging to the Igbo race are to be sold on Monday by Chrities Auction House Paris. Aljazeera.com reports that the Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments, raised the alarm earlier this month that the objects were looted during the Biafran war in the late 1960s.
Aljazeera.com also quoted a Nigerian Professor of Igbo extraction and lecturer with Preston University, Okeke-Agulu, saying the objects were taken through “an act of violence” from his home state of Anambra and that they should not be sold.
An online petition said to be signed by over 2000 persons are calling for the sales to be called off. They described the artifacts as stolen from Anambra in South East Nigeria during the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War between 1967 and 1970 by a European treasure hunter.
The Nigerian government has however written to Christies not to go ahead with the sales but Christies has declined and said it would go ahead as the artifacts were obtained legitimately.
Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu said he expects the Nigerian government to go into negotiation with auction houses and private collectors in getting back stolen artifacts in what he describes as complex. He also said a legal recourse could also be taken.
He said it is not just that of the Igbos but those stolen from the Oba of Benin Palace.