Roberts: Antiquities of Nigeria – Benin Ivory (1976)

This is the first document in a weighty archival file titled Antiquities of Nigeria: refusal of British Museum to loan Benin Ivory Mask, 1976 Jan 01 – 1976 Dec 31. It is one of about one hundred pieces, letters, minutes and press clippings dealing with the negotiations that took place throughout 1976 in response to the request for a loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria of the Ivory Mask representing the Queen Mother Iy’Oba Idia of Benin, in the possession of the British Museum, for display at the 1977 FESTAC in Lagos. These documents were up until recently confidential and internal documents to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and reveal opinions and positions that were not at the time destined to be read by a wider public.

commented by Felicity Bodenstein

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