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Nigeria, U.S. move against illicit trafficking of ancient arts

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has expressed optimism that the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA) Agreement, which was signed by Nigeria and the United States, yesterday, will reduce the pillage of the most populous black nation’s ancient arts.

He spoke when he signed the pact on behalf of the country with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in Abuja.

Also present at the ceremony was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

“This legislation was enacted by the United States to restrict the importation into the U.S. of archeological materials ranging in date from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1770, as well as ethnological materials, including those associated with royal, religious activities, etc. from nations that have entered into the kind of bilateral initiative that we are signing here with the United States today (yesterday),” he said.

Mohammed said on account of the agreement, Nigerian antiquities, being imported into the U.S. without the requisite export permit, would be seized at the border and returned to Nigeria without the difficult and costly task of going through judicial and diplomatic processes.

He went on: “We are optimistic that this agreement will reduce the pillage of our irreplaceable archeological and ethnological materials, as the market for these materials is being shut in the United States against illicit traffickers. Continue Reading

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