Return of "Tutu" automatic translate
A portrait of a Nigerian princess, lost more than 40 years ago, was found in a London apartment and will be sold at auction. Bidding will be broadcast live, which will allow Nigerian art lovers in Lagos to bet directly from the West African metropolis.
The most famous modern artist of Nigeria Ben Envonwu (Odinigwe Benedict Chukvukadibiyya Bonaventura Envonwu, Ben Enwonwu) painted a portrait of "Tutu" in 1974. With him, he appeared at an art exhibition in Lagos a year later, but after that the location of the picture was unknown until it was discovered in northern London. "It was his greatest masterpiece, people asked: Where is Tutu? Thus, this image has gained fame, "says Giles Peppiatt, an expert on contemporary African art at the London auction house Bonhams, who identified the picture.
The portrait of Adetutu Ademiluyi, granddaughter of the respected ruler of the Yoruba ethnic group, is of particular importance in Nigeria as a symbol of national reconciliation after the 1967-1970 Biafran War. Envonwu himself belonged to another ethnic group, Igbo, the most numerous in the south-eastern region of Nigeria, which tried to secede. The people of Yoruba, whose homeland is in the south-west, were mostly on the opposite side of the war.
Envonwo wrote three versions of the portrait. Two more still remain lost, but prints made in the 1970s are widely distributed in the country and images are familiar to many Nigerians.
Envanwa died in 1994. Oliver Evonwa, his son, is today the president of the Society of Nigerian Artists. "This is a very important discovery, given my father’s contribution to Nigerian art and African art in a broader sense," he told Reuters in Lagos.
The work will be sold on February 28 at Bonhams auction in London, African art connoisseurs will be able to watch him live from the boutique hotel Wheatbaker, which is located in the rich area of Lagos in Nigeria. Preliminary estimate is from 200 000 to 300 000 pounds sterling (277 600 - 416 400 US dollars).
One of the problems in organizing a live auction linking London and Lagos may be the unreliable power supplies of the Nigerian city. Despite the widespread use of standby generators, power outage is a frequent phenomenon in the life of Lagos.
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