“These artworks are stained with the blood of Biafra’s children,” Okeke-Agulu wrote in an Instagram post on June 6.


However, Christie’s said it doesn’t believe the statues were acquired illegally by Jacques Kerchache, the French collector that owned them.

Nigeria had already passed the Antiquities Ordinance law in 1953 to prohibit the trade of stolen cultural artifacts, years before the statues, and others like them were believed to have been transported out of the country.

There have been concerted efforts over the years to have African artifacts transported abroad via colonial exploitation or illegal looting returned to the continent, but success has been rare.