The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is collaborating with the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, and other stakeholders to build a world-class royal museum to hold stolen artifacts from the Benin Kingdom, noting that the museum will conserve the artifacts and make the state a destination of choice for tourists from across the globe.
The governor disclosed this at a breakfast meeting with members of the Benin Dialogue Group (BDG), at Government House in Benin City, Edo State.
Obaseki thanked members of the Benin Dialogue Group (BDG) for engaging with the state government on efforts to construct the Benin Royal Museum, adding that artworks from the Benin Kingdom have gained global recognition with potential to develop the state’s tourism sector.
He said, “When you look at museums all over the world, there is one recurring thing. When you go to any African section of any museum in the world, in America, or elsewhere, you are likely to see a piece of artwork from the Benin Kingdom.”
“What this tells you is that Edo State has the best representation of African arts globally. This singular opportunity we have can help us to foster and develop the creativity which has been part of us. That is the driving factor, and we believe that we can have such museums here at home of the same standard and quality so that people outside the world will not only come to see these things here but also appreciate the setting where these things were created several decades ago” Obaseki added.
The Director, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Edith Ekunke, expressed appreciation to Governor Obaseki for the efforts by his administration to reposition arts and culture in line with international best practices.
She said, “If all state governors would emulate Governor Obaseki, I think we will be better than what we are now. I want to assure that whatsoever the state government wants, we will be ready to work together to see how we can establish a better museum in Edo State.”