Lagos, Edo State ask British Museum to return stolen art works
The Lagos State Government has formally made a request to the British Museum in London for the return of a sculptural woodcarving, known in the UK as the Lander Stool.
The sculpture was believed to have been taken from Nigeria in 1830 by one of the earliest known explorers of the interior, Richard Lemon Lander (one half of the famed Lander brothers) who was instrumental in pioneering colonisation of Nigeria.
The government intends to mount the artwork in a new cultural facility, the John K. Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, in Onikan, Lagos.
Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, who represented Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, formally presented the request to the British Museum on Saturday during a two-day symposium on emerging museum projects in Africa at the British Museum.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who also attended the event, announced the intention of his government to formally seek the return of some Benin Bronze artifacts from various British museums at the completion of its new Royal Museum project.
“The J.K Randle Centre is a world-class cultural institution that will enable the Yoruba people to reclaim their heritage from a colonial narrative, and present for the first time a high standard cultural and resource centre for millions of people in the state,” Mr Ayorinde said.
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