Bozimo: Nigeria’s Antiquities Abroad, A Daily Times Investigation (1976)

This press cut is taken from a weighty file constituted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London containing several hundred pieces dealing with the negotiations that took place throughout 1976 in response to the request for a loan of the Ivory Mask representing the Queen Mother Iy’Oba Idia of Benin. The mask, in the possession of the British Museum, was requested by the Federal Government of Nigeria for Africa’s Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC’77) set to be held in Lagos at the beginning of 1977. The collection of press cuttings and radio transcripts show that the administration paid careful attention to the mood and public opinion on this issue in Nigeria as it mediated between Nigerian demands and the considerations of the museums involved, most particularly the British Museum.

commented by Felicity Bodenstein

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