The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II has lauded the United States government and the Smithsonian Institute for the interest shown to return looted Benin art works to its original owners.
Omo N’Oba Ewaure made this known, yesterday, when the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary-Beth Leonard, visited his palace in Benin.
Oba Ewuare said that US recognition of Benin artifacts across its museums and monuments and its desire to repatriate them is laudable.
He said Benin Kingdom which is globally known for bronze casting and other reputable artworks had been a sovereign authority since 1882.
Leonard said the cultural agreement signed between Nigeria and the United States would be honoured by returning Nigerian artworks in its custody.
She explained that since assumption of duties in 2019, the US government, through USAID, has also extended testing and treatment of HIV from adult to children in the state.
Mary-Beth Leonard affirmed that the provision of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment have been expanded to cover 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population across all local government councils of the country.