The Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, has rejected the possibility of handing over of the stolen historical Benin artifacts to any other organization, individuals or agency of whatever guise.
The Monarch made this declaration at a world press conference addressed in his Palace grounds on Friday.
The State Government was planning to set up what it called Edo Museum of West African Arts (EMOWAA), using Legacy Restoration Trust Ltd as vehicle to receive the stolen artifacts.
It is pertinent to note that the move by the State Government could set it on collision with the Benin Palace.
Oba Ewuare, while rejecting the move, noted that demands for the stolen items predates the emergence of this administration.
He called on the Federal Government to take custody of these artifacts on behalf of the Palace until the Benin Royal Museum is ready for their collection, even as he warned that under no circumstances should custody of the artifacts be handed to any privately-contrived entity like the Legacy Restoration Trust.