Museum Security Network

Benin – Sotheby's – Galway family can’t sell what does not belong to them – Prince Akenzua

In 1996 Prince Godfrey Eweka Akenzua II was appointed the leader of Benin Kingdom’s centenary anniversary of the 1897 invasion on Benin. Ever since, he has remained the arrowhead of the people’s global campaign for repartration of their looted artifacts, scattered around the world. Nigerian Compass’ Art Correspondent, EMMANUEL AGOZINO, visited Prince Akenzua’s palace in Benin City, Edo state and discussed the current development around the Sotheby’s proposed sale of Queen Idia Mask with him.PRince, from your angle, what is the issue?A reputable arts gallery and auctioneers in London, Sotheby are mobilising to sell an ivory plaque, one among the 3000 bronze and ivory, art works looted from my great-grandfather’s palace in Benin City by the British. Listed in this proposed sale is the Queen Idia mask. Putting out the objects for sale are the great-grand children of one Lt. Col. Galway, who was with the British troops that invaded Benin and looted the palace in 1897. After the looting, the Bitish organised an auction sale in Liverpool. The bulk of the objects were sold there, thus scattering them all over the world.

via Galway family can’t sell what does not belong to them – Prince Akenzua.

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