Showing results 25 - 36 of 52 for the tag: Nigeria.

August 10, 2010

Africa would like its cultural heritage returned

Posted at 1:06 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Perhaps as one of the areas of the world that has lost the largest quantities of artefacts, Africa is rapidly becoming one of the loudest voices in the campaigns for the return of artefacts from the museums & institutions of the west.

From:
Afrik.com

African cultural heritage fight with the West fuelled by national identity
Wednesday 12 May 2010 / by Alicia Koch

The question of African cultural heritage in the West is still hanging in the balance. Should their valuable artifacts remain in European and North American institutions that possess the necessary preservation techniques and means or should they be returned to their country of origin where they could forge a much needed sense of national identity? Shock waves created by the international conference on the protection and restitution of “looted” Cultural Heritage which took place in Cairo, April 8, and led by Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the powerful Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, has revived a debate that has long been relegated to furtive whispers.

At a time when the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, known for its remarkable collection of primitive art, has decided to give back a Makonde mask that has been in its possession since 1985 to Tanzania, the issue of the restitution of sacred African artifacts could not be more sensitive. Stolen from a museum in Dar Es Salaam, in 1984, the mask found its way into the prestigious Swiss museum where it was kept for 25 years! Given back to the Eastern African country officially as a “gift” at a formal ceremony held under the auspices of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Paris on Monday, the mask is well on its way back to its ancestral abode. This marks a further step in the process of the restitution of looted artifacts to Africa.
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June 7, 2010

The Kingdom of Ife exhibition at the British Museum proves that Nigeria is able to look after its heritage

Posted at 8:38 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Kingdom of Ife is a major exhibition currently on at the British Museum. The fact that the exhibition has sourced many of the artefacts from Nigeria though makes a mockery off the assertions by various museums in relation to Benin artefacts, that they can not honour return requests because the items would not be looked after well enough if they were sent back to Nigeria.

From:
Modern Ghana

ILE-IFE TRIUMPHS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON: WHO SAID NIGERIANS WERE INCAPABLE OF LOOKING AFTER THEIR CULTURAL ARTEFACTS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sun, 18 Apr 2010

“A glorious display of Ife sculpture has arrived at the British Museum. Nobody — and I mean nobody — in Britain should miss it. Why? Because it changes our understanding of civilisation. Because it rewrites the story of art. Because it is a once-in-a-lifetime revolutionary event. If none of those is a big enough reason for you, then go along merely to enjoy some of the most graceful and lovely sculpture ever made. Trust me. You need to see this one. “
Waldemar Januszczak (1)

By all standards, the current exhibition in the British Museum entitled, Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa, is outstanding. (2) This has been acknowledged by most critics and commentators. The British press is full of praises and enthusiasm. An article by Jonathan Jones, entitled, “The divine art of the Kingdom of Benin” in The Guardian bears a headline declaring:
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May 24, 2010

Revisiting Benin’s 1897 destruction

Posted at 12:37 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

An art exhibition by Peju Layiwola marking the fiftieth anniversary of Nigeria aims to tell the story of the destruction & subsequent looting of the kingdom of Benin.

From:
Modern Ghana

Revisiting the 1897 destruction of Benin
By Akintayo Abodunrin
Feature Article | 14 hours ago

The looting of African artefacts and the ceaseless calls for their repatriation will take centre stage when ‘Benin1897.com: Art and the Restitution Question’, a solo travelling exhibition by artist, Peju Layiwola, opens.

The exhibition, being organised to mark Nigeria’s 50th anniversary, will open on April 8 at the Main Auditorium Gallery, University of Lagos, and run till May 30. The Enogie of Obazuwa, Edun Akenzua, will declare the exhibition open.
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May 23, 2010

Egyptian conference on disputed antiquities

Posted at 12:07 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Egypt is holding a conference on stolen & looted antiquities, bringing together representatives from many of the nations that are requesting returns. Hopefully, many other countries can learn from some of Egypt’s recent successes in this field.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 01:23 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 02:23 UK
Egypt hosts meeting on recovery of ‘stolen treasures’

Global culture officials are to meet to discuss how to recover ancient treasures which they say have been stolen and displayed overseas.

Sixteen countries will be represented at the two-day conference in Cairo.
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May 13, 2010

Can other countries emulate Egypt’s success at artefact restitution?

Posted at 1:08 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Egypt has recently had a lot of success at securing the return of artefacts from foreign institutions & collectors. Can other countries manage to copy their example though with their own requests?

From:
Modern Ghana

EGYPTIAN SEASON OF ARTEFACTS RETURNS: HOPEFUL SIGN TO BE FOLLOWED BY OTHERS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sun, 14 Mar 2010

”There is a moral imperative for museums around the world to return certain artefacts to the countries they came from, and we are going to identify how we can help each other to increase the pressure on the keepers of those artefacts.”
Zahi Hawass. (1)

Egyptians seem to be having tremendous success in the recovery of their artefacts taken away during the heyday of imperialism and colonialism or stolen since 1970 when States adopted the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970). (2)
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February 11, 2010

Will Benin’s artefacts ever be exhibited in Benin?

Posted at 10:04 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

An exhibition of artefacts from Benin has taken place at the Ethnography Museum in Stockholm. Despite many calls for the repatriation of Benin artefacts though, it seems as though most are only displayed in museums outside the region.

From:
Nigerian Compass

Repartration of looted artefacts in Europe: Benin’s case can’t be different
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 00:00

Recently, the ethnography museum of Stockholm, Sweden hosted an exhibition and seminar on Benin court art and culture. Prince Edun Akenzua who headed the delegation from His Majesty, Omo n’ Oba n’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Eriduawua II of Benin to the international event discusses it and other salient issues relating to the Edo kingdom’s stolen artifacts in European museums with EMMANUEL AGOZINO. Excerpts:

What was the exhibition at the Ethnography Museum of Stockholm, Sweden, all about?
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Is France’s return of looted Nigerian artefacts an isolated act?

Posted at 1:46 pm in Similar cases

The French government has returned two looted artefacts to Nigeria. The question is whether this is the start of an extended process of dialogue over disputed cultural property, or merely a one-off isolated act of restitution.

From:
Modern Ghana

FRANCE RETURNS LOOTED ARTEFACTS TO NIGERIA: BEGINNING OF A LONG PROCESS OR AN ISOLATED ACT?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Sat, 30 Jan 2010

According to a report in the Nigerian Compass reproduced below, the French Government has returned to the Nigerian Government two artefacts looted during the colonial days. This is good news.

We have in various articles demonstrated the illegality, the illegitimacy and the immorality of detaining the cultural artefacts of others against their consent, whether the objects were looted, stolen or acquired under other dubious circumstances. We have urged Western museums that are full of such objects to endeavour to come to some acceptable arrangements with the owners. However, most Western museums have remained deaf to all reasonable pleas and demands for restitution.
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January 1, 2010

Return of Egyptian artefacts by Louvre re-awakens restitution debate

Posted at 7:08 pm in Similar cases

The return of various fresco fragments to Egypt by the Louvre in Paris is the end of a chapter for those particular artefacts – but could be the beginning of many further restitution claims by other parties who observed how successfully the process was handled.

From:
Nigerian Compass

France’s return of Egyptian artefacts reawakes repatriation debate
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 00:00 Chuka Nnabuife

FRANCE’S surprise hand-over of four fragments of an ancient tomb mural to Egyptian antiquities authorities recently makes art authorities around the world pop questions about Nigeria’s steep in the nitty-gritty of art politics.

Probes about what the Nigerian government in the campaign to retreive its thousands of antiques scattered across the western art collections and museums filled internet art discourse platforms.
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December 26, 2009

Can legal action facilitate the return of artefacts?

Posted at 9:03 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

A Nigerian expert is suggesting that legal action may be necessary if African countries are to be successful in retrieving many of their disputed artefacts. Looking at similar cases in the past – particularly those involving Italy, it has become clear to many people that the threat of legal proceedings can be the only thing that museums will listen to – something that they can’t just bury their heads in the sand & ignore.

From:
African Press Agency

Nigeria-Artifacts-Court
Nigerian expert advocates legal action in retrieving stolen artifacts
APA – Lagos (Nigeria) jeudi 17 décembre 2009, par daj

The Director of Nigeria’s Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Professor Tunde Babawale, says Nigeria should take legal action to retrieve its stolen artifacts.

Babawale told journalists on Wednesday in Lagos that Nigeria’s quest to retrieve the artifacts could be done through the International Court of Justice.
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August 21, 2009

The reasons given for non return of cultural property

Posted at 1:00 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

This is the second part of Kwame Opoku’s article on the reasons given by museums against restitution as a way of avoiding confronting the real issues.

From:
Modern Ghana

WOULD WESTERN MUSEUMS RETURN LOOTED OBJECTS IF NIGERIA AND OTHER AFRICAN STATES WERE RULED BY ANGELS? RESTITUTION AND CORRUPTION*
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | 12 hours ago

[…]

IV. What is to be done?
In view of the very clear position of the major Western museums not to return any of the looted/stolen African artefacts, what should be done? Below are few proposals in this regard.

1. Urgent examination of existing cooperation agreements and arrangements between African museums and Western museums.
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Would Westerm Museums return artefacts if they could?

Posted at 12:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Many of the museums of the West, when faced with restitution claims, have insisted that they would consider returning the artefacts – but they are unable to do so. Common reasons given include the security of the artefacts if they were returned, the lack of a suitable place to house them, or statutes that forbid deaccessioning. Are these institutions really speaking the truth though, ore merely trying to throw up more barriers to prevent any sort of serious discussion of the real issues involved.

Due to the length of this piece I am reproducing it here in two parts.

From:
Modern Ghana

WOULD WESTERN MUSEUMS RETURN LOOTED OBJECTS IF NIGERIA AND OTHER AFRICAN STATES WERE RULED BY ANGELS? RESTITUTION AND CORRUPTION*
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | 12 hours ago

Corruption, like tango, requires two partners.

A seminal study by Peju Layiwola, dealt with the question of the cultural memory of a people whose development has been brutally interrupted and their cultural objects seized by a foreign invader. (1) In the specific case of Benin, the British seized more than 3000 artefacts during their nefarious invasion in 1879. (2) This date and the invasion have remained memorable for the people of Benin, Nigeria and the continent of Africa.

Peju Layiwola whose mother, Princess Elisabeth Olowu, is a well-known artist, was born in the Palace of the Oba in Benin City during the reign of Oba Akenzua II, her maternal grandfather. Peju spent her childhood in Benin City, went to school there and did her first degree at the University of Benin. Her doctoral dissertation at the University of Ibadan dealt with contemporary Benin brass casting. Peju is therefore from family affiliation, from childhood experience and education linked to Benin and inevitably, since she was drawn to art in her infancy, to the arts of Benin and the tragic loss of the Benin bronzes through the British invasion. The important question then is not why Peju is concerned by the continued loss of the Benin Bronzes but rather why some people are less concerned or even indifferent to attempts to recover looted or stolen artefacts.
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August 17, 2009

Museums & governments must enter into dialogues over looted artefacts

Posted at 12:56 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Director of the National Museum of African Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution talks about partnerships with museums abroad. The issue of repatriation is also discussed, with the suggestion that there should be a serious dialogue going on to resolve some of these cases. All too often unfortunately, institutions such as the British Museum make pre-requisite demands that must be satisfied before talks can take place – as an effective way of neutering any possible discussions.

From:
The Guardian (Nigeria)

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Africa Must Partner To Correct Marginalisation, says Johnetta Cole

SINCE the beginning of the year the National Museum, Lagos has been in the centre of intense efforts to reposition it to play its pivotal role of showcasing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage to the world. Such recent efforts saw the director of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, US, Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole visiting Nigeria in a partnership being forged by the Ford Foundation. In this interview with ANOTE AJELUOROU, she talks about the timeliness of the partnership between the two institutions and the Owo art exhibition being planned to commemorate Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversary in the US and Nigeria.
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