“Antiquity smugglers smiling to the bank….”

“Unconfirmed reports indicate a thief could earn as much as $50,000 (N7.5 million) for one monolith, even though there are laws, both at national and international levels, against such trade. Assuming 120 monoliths can still be accounted for, deduct this figure from 450 and the difference is 330 stones gone. Multiply 330 by $50,000, and you get $16.5 million. At an exchange rate of N150 to $1, Nigeria has lost N2.5 billion! It is, however, worth noting that the nation loses much more than money, each time a piece of antiquity is lost. Whenever such tragedy strikes, we lose a bit of our soul, so to speak.

Sadly, thieves will always try to lift classical objects; not only because of the perceived large sums involved but because of lax laws, which prescribe rather lenient penalties for such heinous crime as selling one’s soul and that of the entire nation in one fell swoop. To worsen matters, the apathy of Nigeria’s federal authorities toward antiquity objects, be they Bakor, Benin, Esie, Ife, Igbo Ukwu, Nok et cetera serves to egg looters on.
Nigerian authorities may not care about Bakor Monoliths, but neither the inextricable relevance of these antiquities to world heritage nor the perilous conditions to which they are subjected is lost on the global community. “

More here….