Ben Enwonwu missing painting: Nigeria government suppose investigate - Expert

Painting of Ife Princess Adetutu Ademiluyi Image copyright Ben Enwonwu Foundation
Image example Na three of dis 'Tutu' painting Ben Enwonwu bin do

One important painting wey Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu do for 1970s of di Ife Yoruba Princess; Adetutu Ademiluyi wey don miss for many years don appear for one London flat.

Dem no sure how di painting take waka reach north London, and di family wey dem find am for dia house say dem no want make dia name comot for media.

Makinde Adeniran wey be Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Art Practitioners tell BBC News Pidgin tori person Dan Ikpoyi say security of art no dey for Africa, na im make dat kain thing fit happen.

"You know when Picasso do something…no be di art anymore, na di person. Ben Enwonwu na very big person when it come to art for Africa. For im product to dey miss like dat tell of di kain security wey people wey dey do dis kind job dem get for Africa; no security."

Image copyright Makinde Adeniran/Instagram
Image example Makinde Adeniran say no be today Africa don dey mumu wen e come to security for art work dem

Enwonwu bin do three 'Tutu' paintings during 1973-74, and before dem find dis particular one, people don believe say all di three don loss.

On Wednesday 28 February, for di first time, Bonhams auction house wey go sell di painting for London, go do live broadcast of di auction to Lagos, for people dia to try dia luck.

Makinde say Nigerian government suppose set-up investigative panel to find out how di art take reach there: "Even if na thief, thief am right, how thief take thief am wey e carry am go dat place? If we dey take our art serious for dis country, nothing go dey wrong if government set investigative panel to look and find out even if not for dis work particularly but for posterity reason going forward."

Bonhams dey expect say di money wey dem go auction di work for, go fit pass £200,000, but Makinde say dem no fit put value on African art wey don disappear land for Europe.

Im say: "If you want to put value to those ones, what of di ones dem park during di days of Oba Ovonramwen almost 200 years ago, because value no be only for money wey dem dey spend now, na equally for time".

Who be Ben Enwonwu?

Image copyright Ben Enwonwu Foundation
Image example Na Enwonwu Queen Elizabeth II choose to do sculpture of am when she come Nigeria for 1956
  • Dem born am as Odinigwe Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu on 14 July, 1921.
  • When Enwonwu dey secondary school for Government Colleges, Ibadan and Umuahia, im do Fine Arts and for 1944, e go Goldsmith College for London and later to Ruskin College for Oxford to study Fine Art and Sculpture where im graduate with first-class.
  • One year later, e get Masters of Art degree for Social Anthropology from University College, London.
  • Enwonwu career start as Fine Art teacher for Nigeria and later im become adviser to di Nigerian government from 1948.
  • When Queen Elizabeth II come Nigeria for 1956, she commission and agree to sidon for Enwonwu make e do sculpture of am.
  • Im na di first Nigerian modern artist to win international award.
  • Enwonwu die for Ikoyi, Lagos for 1994.

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