Artefacts stolen from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) have been returned after seven years abroad. The stolen pieces included headrests and masks acquired by the gallery in 1964.
The artefacts were stolen in 2006 when a visitor to the Gallery put them in a bag and ran out the door. The Gallery alerted the international community of the incident and uploaded pictures of the stolen art pieces on the internet, several months later they were tracked down in Poland.
The thief was arrested and jailed while the artefacts were handed over to the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Germany where they have been housed until now.
They have now been brought safely back to the National Gallery by manager Silas Matope.
Today, in an unveiling of the artefacts, National Gallery executive director Doreen Sibanda said: “We are overwhelmed to have them (the artefacts) back to where they belong.”
The unveiling ceremony, which took place in the very room the artwork was stolen, was attended by various players in the arts and culture sector including the principal director in the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture.