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Switzerland returns stolen 2,000-year-old marble head to Libya

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In what has been described as a significant move, Switzerland federal authorities have returned the marble head of a young woman from the Hellenistic period believed to be around 2,000 years old to Libya, 10 years after it was discovered in a warehouse in Geneva.

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture said in a statement on Wednesday that it had handed over the marble sculpture to the Libyan Embassy in Bern as part of restitutional framework of the law on the international transfer of cultural property.

The sculpture, which is 19 centimetres high, according to the North African Federal Office of Culture, dates from between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.

Historians say the object probably came from the archaeological site of the ancient city of Cyrene in present day Libya.

“It is an archaeological vestige of great value and an exceptional testimony to Hellenistic expansion in North Africa,” the office of culture said in a statement.

Local media reports that the cultural artefact was found during a customs inspection in a customs warehouse in Geneva in 2013, and was confiscated during criminal proceedings in 2016 on suspicion that it had come from a looted excavation.

“The marble head is entirely covered with a reddish patina which provides information on its origin, according to which the Cyrenaica region is one of the rare regions in the Mediterranean basin where we find terra rossa and marble of such quality,” a media report said.

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Ghanaian chef fails to break cook-a-thon world record

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An attempt by celebrity Ghanaian chef, Failatu Abdul-Razak, to break the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual, has come to an end as the GWR says she violated the “rest break rules”.

Abdul-Razak had, in January, embarked on the task of breaking the world record of 119 hours and 57 minutes held by Irish chef, Alan Fisher.

She began the cook-a-thon at midnight on January 1, initially aiming to reach the finish line on the morning of January 5, but however ended the marathon on January 10, recording an overwhelming 227 hours, which appeared to have broken the world record.

However, in a statement on Sunday, the co-ordinator of Abdul-Razak’s challenge, Kafui Dey, said that her attempt at breaking the record “unfortunately fell short of meeting the stringent guidelines set forth by Guinness World Records.

“A statement from the Records Management Team cited a violation of the rest break rules, resulting in an unsuccessful attempt,” Dey said.

Also in a statement, GWR acknowledged Abdul-Razak’s efforts and encouraged future record proposals.

“We commend you for your tremendous efforts with this record attempt. We hope you can still be very proud of what you have achieved,” the statement stated.

Abdul-Razak who responded to the development in her own statement, expressed profound gratitude to her supporters and Ghanaians in general.

“While the outcome may not be what we anticipated, I am deeply thankful for the unwavering support from our sponsors and partners, as well as the encouragement from our fans. Your backing has been instrumental throughout this journey.

“Although this attempt did not result in a world record, it has been an invaluable experience. I am proud of the dedication and hard work put forth, and I am committed to continuing to push boundaries in the culinary world,” she added.

Abdul-Razak’s attempt to break the world record had caused widespread excitement across the West African country with top celebrities and politicians, including Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, lending her their support.

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Nigerian Afrobeats singer Asake in big trouble for controversial new video

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Nigerian Afrobeats sensation, Ahmed Ololade, popularly known as Asake, has come in for strong criticism as Christians in the country have lambasted him for allegedly making a mockery of Christianity in his latest video, “Only Me”.

In the viral video directed by top music director, TG Omori, Asake who is a Muslim, is seen dressed in priestly attire depicting a Catholic priest, while sitting behind a table altar.

Asake also dons a Christian regalia with a halo around his head while throwing at his dancers, also dressed up on Christian regalia.

The dancers are are also chanting the track’s refrain, repeating “we get money” over and over again, which critics say is a satire about charismatic preachers.

The video which was premiered on Thursday, has, however, generated wide criticised on social media with many calling for it to be banned as they see it as an insult to the Christian religion.

Those against the video have taken to social media to register their anger and condemnation.

An angry user on X fired the first shot when he wrote:

“Asake keeps disrespecting the Christian faith in his music videos.”

“Asake is mocking Christians with his blasphemous music video,” another user wrote on X.

“Shame on you man. I’m a big fan of your music but the depictions in this your latest video are absolutely insane” another said.

“Please bring down this video. This is an insult to our Christian faith. Do your music but respect people’s religions,” yet another angry fan wrote on Instagram.

This is, however, not the first time the Grammy-nominated singer will get himself into trouble for his use of Christian imagery in his music videos.

Last year, Asake came under a barrage of attacks for the video for “Bandana” which depicted black goats sitting in a church with people in the pews, each with a flame above their heads.

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