The government of Mexico in a display of good faith has brought back an ancient Ile-Ife bronze sculpture to Nigeria following its seizure by customs officials at the Mexico City International airport. The sculpture is believed to date back to the 6th Century from the south-western region of Nigeria. The above information was revealed in a press statement obtained on Mexico’s website on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
“The customs agency of Mexico’s Tax Administration Service, in coordination with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture, returned a bronze Ife sculpture of the Yoruba people to Nigeria," the statement read in part.
“The sculpture was discovered by customs officials at the Mexico City International Airport when the buyer tried to get it into the country.
“The sculpture and its provenance were authenticated by experts and agencies of both countries, with the participation of specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History. It had been exported illegally.” It also revealed the sculpture had been illegally exported.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico Aminu Iyawa praised the Mexican authority for its admirable gesture in recovering the sculpture.