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Return of stolen artifacts subject to capacity to preserve them, says artist

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Most of those who took some of the nation’s artifacts to other countries would be willing to return them if the nation’s museums were ready to preserve them.

 

Nigerian painter, Sam Ovraiti, said this on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

 

He said that many bodies were working on the possibility of bringing back into the country old art works that had been taken elsewhere.

 

He said that the arguments by their current `owners’ had been whether the artifacts would be handled with care and preserved by the country’s museums after they would have received by them.

 

He said, “First of all, we have to love what we have and show that we have the capacity to take care of them when they are returned.

 

“Those works were taken away from the country a long time ago; some as war loots while others were sold by some of our citizens because we didn’t value them.’’

 

He added that the awareness about the relevance of art works among the public was on the increase.

 

It would yield good results if we could go through the right procedures, he said.

 

He advised, “The government should write to the appropriate authorities in charge of preserving artifacts.

 

“They will make presentations to people or organisations outside the country currently keeping identified artifacts.

 

“I’m sure such people or organizations will be willing to return the art works within their possessions because the world is becoming more liberal nowadays.

 

“Also, many people have come to realise that certain things are better allowed to exist in their natural habitats,” Ovraiti said.

 

NAN reports that Ovraiti who is into painting and oil on canvas and water colour  studied General Art & Painting at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi and obtained a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Benin.

Edited by Peter Dada

 

 

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