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Oba Of Benin Wants Repatration Of Stolen Benin Artifacts

Oba Of Benin Wants Repatration Of Stolen Benin Artifacts

The Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II has renewed the

call for the repatriation of all Benin artifacts carted away during

the European expedition to Benin Kingdom many years ago.

Oba Ewuare II made the call when he received the American Ambassador

to Nigeria, His Excellency, Ambassador Stuart Symington and the

Director Emerita of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts,

Dr. Johnetta Cole in his Palace in Benin City.

His Royal Majesty said it was a great privilege to have Smithsonian

National Museum of African Arts Exhibition in Benin City, which goes

to demonstrate that Benin culture is number one in Africa.

The Oba of Benin informed his guests that Benin Kingdom has rich work

of arts and a cultural center, and request Smithsonian to partner with

the Palace to revive and improve on the facilities in the Cultural

Center, so that it would have the capacity to host world class

cultural and art exhibition.

The Benin Monarch informed the American Ambassador to Nigeria that the

Palace would require economic and technological support from American

government to develop Edo State, and explains that there is vested

interest to open up the Gelegele Export Free Zone for economic gains.

Oba Ewuare II called for twinning of Benin City with an American City

for mutual economic and cultural benefits.

The Oba of Benin used the opportunity to draw America government

attention to the effects of environmental pollution in Nigeria and the

world at large and calls for greater caution on the part of American

government regarding the offensive in North Korea and the Peninsula.

The American Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Amb. Stuart

Symington said the cultural and arts exhibition to be held in Benin

City would further cement the bond between Nigerian and America.

Ambassador Stuart said the images to be exhibited would create

surprises in the minds of people around the world, pointing out that

the images reflects the Benin people.

On her part, the Director Emerita of the Smithsonian National Museum

of African Arts, Dr. Johnetta Cole expressed satisfaction that the

dream of Smithsonian Institution has become a reality as, the

photographs taken over 60 years ago by the official photographer to

the Royal Court of Benin Kingdom, Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge are

brought to the people of Benin.

She said they had to collaborate with other agencies to stage the

exhibition in Benin City because they love Africa with its work of

Arts, pointing out that the Art exhibition would be quite memorable

for Smithsonian Institution.

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