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Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted - Culture - Nairaland

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Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by dermmy(m): 6:40am On Jun 30
Nigeria is "saddened" by the sale of two sculptures belonging to the south-eastern Igbo community, an official from the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments, has said.

A prominent art historian had called on the renowned auction house, Christie's, to cancel the sale.

Prof Chika Okeke-Agulu told the BBC the two objects were "looted" from shrines during the civil war in the late 1960s.

The items were sold for just under $240,000 (£195,000) in Paris.

Christie's rejected the claim that the sculptures were stolen, saying the Monday sale was perfectly legal.

The wooden objects about 1.5 metres high, one male and one female, represent deities from the Igbo community, their hands face upwards waiting to receive sacrifices and gifts.

Why is the sale so controversial?

Central to the controversy is when the statues were taken and where from.
"Christie's ought not be dealing in Nigerian antiquities that were probably taken out at a time of conflict, contrary to the Hague Convention of 1954," Babatunde Adebiyi, legal adviser for the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments, said, adding that Nigeria "was saddened" by the sale.
The Hague Convention of 1954 was adopted to protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict. Nigeria joined the convention in 1961.
Prior to this Nigeria already had an antiquities ordinance law which made the trade of stolen cultural artefacts illegal, which was adopted in 1953.

The 1970 Unesco convention also banned the international trade in stolen artefacts.
Mr Adebiyi, who also advises the Nigerian government, says he believes these objects will always belong to the people of Nigeria.
"There is never going to be a universal principle that says something made by my forebears belongs to you in perpetuity because you bought it in an auction house. African antiquities will always be African, just like a Da Vinci will always be European."

Where did the items come from?

Prof Okeke-Agulu from Princeton University says the objects were looted from communal shrines in his native Anambra state, with the help of local conspirators.
He said they could not have been acquired legally because they were removed during the 1960s Biafran civil war, when the Igbo community attempted to secede from Nigeria.

"Growing up in Nigeria, we would pass by these destroyed and looted shrines and they would point to them, [saying] 'these were the shrines that were looted and destroyed during the war,'" he told the BBC.

The historian believes the loss of these sculptures has meant that a key part of Igbo cultural identity has been lost for future generations. He accused Christie's and other art collectors of "expropriation".

"To pretend we don't matter - what we think doesn't matter - is for me a recast of the colonial arrogance that we are still dealing with in other parts of the African continent," Prof Okeke-Agulu said.

Could there be another explanation?

But art historian Professor Clifford Nwanna, from Nigeria's Nnamdi Azikiwe University, says that more information is needed.
He says that in the past some local people chose to throw away some ritual objects or sell them.
This sometimes happened when people felt the object "was no longer potent" or stopped working as protection.
Prof Nwanna also points to the arrival of Christian missionaries in the area as another reason historically why some local people rendered the objects "as things that don't have much value".
"Some people were persuaded to do away with their gods, idols, and those statues," he adds.
He said the onus should be on the local community to call for the return of the items:
"They need to make a claim for the objects... because legally the community are the people that have the highest interest."

What does Christie's say?

It has defended the auction.
"The auction house believes there is no evidence these statues were removed from their original location by someone who was not local to the area, or that the area they came from at the time they were acquired was part of the conflict at the time," it said in a statement.
"Our understanding is that even prior to the conflict, local agents were trading in objects such as these and they were starting to circulate more widely," it said.
It added that at no stage "has there been any suggestion that these statues were subject to improper export".

How did the sculptures get to Paris?

According to Christie's, the sculptures were acquired by Jacques Kerchache, a French art collector and a close adviser to former French President Jacques Chirac.
But the auction house says it believes Mr Kerchache didn't travel to Nigeria in 1968/69 which suggests local agents were involved in initial trading, probably to Cameroon before shipment to Europe.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53218138

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Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by FlordFlorez(m): 7:15am On Jun 30
Europeans have stolen all our artefacts way since 19's even beyond. Our value, belief, heritage & culture were all looted. If u happen to travel overseas and visit their museums especially Portugal, Spain, France, Britain, Germany & Italy, u'd see our artefacts in their hundreds. If they claim black lives truely matter, let them return all back to us. Wait o, nairaland no dey pay for FTC again??
Modified: Swines are quoting me negatively especially that gay hiding under female moniker. I'll not honour u by quoting back. Ignoramus everywhere...

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Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by kniru: 10:54am On Jun 30
Hmm
Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by dietsono(m): 10:54am On Jun 30
Mtcheeew

4 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by tydi(m): 10:54am On Jun 30
shocked

The whites brought missionary and ended up looting our deities..

Blacks its time to wise up and sometimes do your thinking by yourselves.

132 Likes 8 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by oluwaseunamos33(m): 10:54am On Jun 30
thnk God am 2nd to comment

1 Like 3 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by topshotnista(m): 10:55am On Jun 30
Preserve your tradition

3 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by itsme01: 10:55am On Jun 30
cool



Na Oyinbo begin looting, but blaming hushpuppi and mompha for the revenge mission

Wetin Oyinbo no steal from us, resources, human as slaves, Agro products, our deity and occultic power, they even taxed us in our own land

Anyways Nigeria has the typical crab mentality, and would rather fight each others while supporting the real oppressor


Come to think of it, you claim african gods are idols and useless, and you gave us the middle eastern Gods, yet every of African Oracle and Idols you stole, looted and kept for centuries selling it for huge fee , repackaging it as illuminati occults


.

92 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by lyriclekidd(m): 10:55am On Jun 30
Okay

2 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by Mariangeles: 10:55am On Jun 30
"To pretend we don't matter - that what we think doesn't matter - is for me a recast of the colonial arrogance that we are still dealing with in other parts of the African continent," Prof Okeke-Agulu said.

Word!

13 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by Menance: 10:55am On Jun 30
Interesting
Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by Necksonnel: 10:55am On Jun 30
Igbo people don sell their gods for money

37 Likes 7 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by FreakDesign: 10:56am On Jun 30
Chai! Their time don pass
Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by DuBLINGreenb(m): 10:56am On Jun 30
Ahhh even Nairaland na man no man Una dey do here too

How these front page thing dey work sef topic wen I first you post your own done sharperly climb fp

5 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by doziefrank07(m): 10:56am On Jun 30
oluwaseunamos33:
thnk God am 2nd to comment
meet me in the Bank before noon to collect your reward...

6 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by mondbest(m): 10:56am On Jun 30
They took away our culture, our pride, our precious goldmine and gave us religion, tribalism, hate, corruption and still blame us for everything

61 Likes 1 Share

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by Igbochief001(m): 10:56am On Jun 30
All those people who claim morally upright won't call this one a crime ...

Seriously if I was president as far as u don't scam a Nigeria Yahoo would be unofficially legal

23 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by southniyikaye(m): 10:56am On Jun 30
They still continue looting, nothing has changed.
Just yesterday, I saw three Lebanese assaulting a Nigerian in Nigeria and the funniest thing was that, they were being escorted by our policemen and they didn't do shit about it.
Ordinary Lebanese o.
Well, I wanted to form van Damme + Jason Statham on them but when I remember even when their gun is stationery, accidental discharge still happens
Then I said to myself, MY LIFE MATTERS JAREE,
MOYA LOOK AWAY

Just a reminder,
I am still your fabricator guy.

10 Likes 1 Share

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by ProfBrugo: 10:56am On Jun 30
Chai.




The ancestors of Biafrans have been sold into slavery once again.



grin

14 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by SEGLIZ: 10:57am On Jun 30
my argument.
Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by DenreleDave(f): 10:57am On Jun 30
This is too heavy for only me to hear


Igboid ofoigbo MsAllison Deebwebb tranquility Frankdaz9 anambra1sts0n Igbochief001

Where are u guys??

NwaNimo1, we need to surmon urgent meeting oo


ProfBrugo:
Chai.




The ancestors of Biafrans have been sold into slavery once again.



grin

6 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by MajorOvakporaye(f): 10:57am On Jun 30
Necksonnel:
Igbo people don sell their gods for money

poor hungry boy.
i know you have not eaten good food for days

45 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by Pavore9: 10:57am On Jun 30
But some people did burn and still burn such carvings in their communities with the belief that they are demonic.

33 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by mustbewell: 10:57am On Jun 30
Short of words.
Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by EcoBrick: 10:57am On Jun 30
Prof Okeke-Agulu from Princeton University says the objects were looted from communal shrines in his native Anambra state, with the help of local conspirators.

Smh. Na we dey do ourselves.

3 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by onlinestaff2020: 10:58am On Jun 30
If these artifacts costs a lot, why not make more and export outside the shores of Nigeria, in order to make foreign currencies by our local artists.

12 Likes

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by chloride6: 10:58am On Jun 30
The case of stolen artifacts is funny..

Because it only worth something because it was stolen..

If it wasnt stolen it wouldn't be worth squat

22 Likes 1 Share

Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by dannyspeejay(m): 10:58am On Jun 30
Warey People
Re: Christie Sells Nigerian Statues Of Igbo Deities That Were Looted by TalkTalkTwins(m): 10:58am On Jun 30
If they like, they should sell Nigeria

Meanwhile, Breaking
Hushpuppi gets Gucci prison wears

4 Likes

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