File picture of cultural artifacts, Igbo People, Nigeria/courtesy
File picture of cultural artifacts, Igbo People, Nigeria/courtesy

The artifact that represented goddess of fruitfulness reluctantly released by Nupe people to Niger State Museum and stolen some decades ago, has been found in Italy.‎

The Executive Director, Niger State Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Emmanuel Zhiri, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna on Thursday.

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“This artifact was found in Italy recently by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Jonathan Vatsa’’, Zhiri said.

Zhiri added that it would cost the state a “huge fortune,” to retrieve it.‎

He spoke on the sidelines of the 2017 Commemoration of the World Museum Day‎ with the theme: Museum and Contested Histories: Saying the Unspeakable in Museums.”

Zhiri said Niger state museum was one of the well-organised premier museums with experienced professional personnel.

“We have identified artifacts we are going to bring in, like the musical strings of the late Walo Shatan Gwari and late Nupe musicians’ musical strings used in the course of their musical career.‎

“We are going to pay the custodians of these musical strings and bring them to the Niger state museum.

“It is going to cost us about N2 million to bring them from the Niger Zone A, Zone B and Zone C”, he said.

Zhiri added that the essence of bringing such artifacts to ‎Niger museum was to preserve the history and make it public to those who did not know such history.