Benin artefacts: I’ve no conflict with palace, says Obaseki
July 22, 2022
BENIN CITY— Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, yesterday, said there was no dispute between the state government and the Palace of the Oba of Benin, His Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, over the return of looted Benin artefacts.Obaseki, who addressed participants at a stakeholders’ engagement and unveiling of phase one of the Edo Museum of West African Art, EMOWAA, in Benin City, noted: “What is our plan for culture? As a people, we have a lot of assets from our past and it’s our responsibility to recreate them. So, it is beyond just several pieces of artwork; no, it’s beyond that. It is about using that as the contact point to bring out the best of who we are.
“There is a whole lot of research that still needs to be done. We can’t have things about us being explained to us from Europe. Nobody is going to do it for us.
“That is why we must insist that when these works come, we host them here in Edo State, their home, so that it’s available for everybody to see. There is no quarrel with the palace.
“It is not just about us but the people of the state. So, let’s facilitate it so everybody can access and benefit from it.
“I don’t see why we cannot achieve this. So, each and every one of you here, from your Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, have the responsibility to make sure we get the first phase of the EMOWAA done and then, let those coming after us build on what we have started.”
Earlier, Chairman of EMOWAA Trust, Mr. Phillip Ihenacho, said that the core mandate of EMOWAA was to support the preservation of West African heritage and culture.
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