BY: Desmond Agbama CPS To Oba of Benin
His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin has welcomed the idea of the British Museum to collaborate with the Palace of the Oba of Benin to develop a World Class Museum to accommodate stolen artefact from Benin Kingdom.
The Benin Monarch who spoke when the Director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer paid him a courtesy visit in the Palace said the museum would not only be of benefit to Edo people, but to Nigerians and tourists from all over the world.
The Oba of Benin reiterated the need to return the stolen artefact from the various museums across the world, pointing out that the Benin people are emotionally attached to it, even though it has been speaking for Benin Kingdom wherever they are in the world.
His Royal Majesty told the Director of British Museum that the Palace is reviving the bronze casting guild responsible for producing the art works in order to keep it alive.
The Omo N’Oba commended the dialogue group for facilitating the visit of the Director of the British Museum towards the return of Benin artefact in British Museum, saying that he look forward to visiting the British Museum.
On the forthcoming launching of “THE RED BOOK”, His Royal Majesty said invitation would be extended to the Director of British Museum, the British government and other private collectors of works of art across the world, adding that Benin culture is far from being extinct as erroneously believed by some historians, and academics in some part of the globe.
Earlier, the Director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer told His Royal Majesty that he was in the Palace to inquire into the possibility of the British Museum offering assistance in terms of fund raising and training of personnel for the proposed museum in the Oba Palace, Benin City.
Mr. Fischer also expressed the desire of the British Museum to offer assistance to the Oba Ewuare II Foundation, pointing out that they want to interphase with other museums in the world and be the driving force to the realization of these noble ideas.
The Director of the British Museum also indicated interest to support “THE RED BOOK, The Benin Monarch: An Anthology of Benin History” in any way they can.