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Auction of Nigerian Art and the Civility of the Englishman
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
December 21, 2010

 

 

According to the Financial Times of London, a sixteenth century Benin/Edo ivory mask (Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria) is to be auctioned away in Sotheby’s, London for 4.5 million pounds in February 2011.  In 2007, a bronze headed sculpture of an Oba (King) that ruled from 1575 to 1625 - Oba Ehengbuda (1578 – 1604) or his son, Oba Ohuan (1604 - 1641) - was also auctioned for 44.7 million pounds. 

The Sotheby’s Art is being sold by the shameless descendants of Lt. Col. Sir Henry Lionel Gallwey, Deputy Commissioner and Vice-Consul in the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1891.  These African arts are usually auctioned off by the descendants of the criminals that robbed Africa to build their European and personal wealth.  They did not only use Africans as free laborers in Europe but also destroyed the human and intellectual resources of Africa, which Africa is yet to recover from. 

The United States, England, along with the rest of the European and capitalist nations take great pride in documenting the crimes against humanity of communist and Islamic nations, but fail to speak out against their continuous exploitation of Africa and its resources.  While Wikileaks has exposed Shell and other European oil companies as the biggest beneficiaries of the Niger-Delta underdevelopment, women from Benin City in Nigeria are stereotyped as prostitutes in Europe. 

If there is any decency or civility in being English, or if capitalism or western democracy is to be admired and respected by all, it will be wise for the United States, England, and other western nations to force their citizens, who has or will auction any Benin or African artifact, to give 70% of the proceeds publicly and legally to the African throne or city from which that artifact was historically taken from.

Benin Art Auction: http://nigerianobservernews.com/21122010/news/flashnews.html

Kings that Ruled Benin: http://www.edofolks.com/html/osahon_oba_dynasty.htm

 

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