The owner of a Nok statue accidentally destroyed by a magazine photographer is suing for the cost of the statue. Other issues remain unanswered in this case though, relating to the exact provenance of the terracotta figure & how it ended up in New York in the first place.
Damage such as this once again raises the issue of whether such artefacts really are in any way guaranteed to be looked after better in the west.
You can read the press coverage of the story, which includes pictures of the statue, here.
Kwame Opoku (by email)
DAMAGE TO NOK SCULPTURE IN PRIVATE WESTERN COLLECTION. WILL OTHER AFRICAN ARTEFACTS END IN THIS WAY?
1 May 2012.
It has been reported in the New York Daily News that the widow of the French artist Arman, is suing in Manhattan Supreme Court for damage to a Nok sculpture caused during a photo shooting session for an art magazine. The sculpture fell and broke into pieces as shown above. Apparently, assistants of the magazine had moved the sculpture from its usual secure position. Mrs Arman has claimed that the sculpture was worth some $300,000. What will the average Nigerian think of this sum?
A question that will surely be raised is whether the precious object was insured against damage and for how much. If it was not insured, this may well reflect on the value attached to it by the owner.
Read the rest of this entry »