US Museum to hold exhibition of Benin arts

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The world renowned Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC has concluded plans to hold a photographic exhibition showcasing the history, arts and culture of Benin Kingdom, spanning over eighty years.
Leader of the delegation Dr. Jonita Bech-Cole said the exhibition will feature the preserved photographs of the first and outstanding photographer of the Benin Royal Court, Chief Solomon Alonge.

Dr Bech-Cole who described the exhibition as “a historic and earth breaking project”, said the project involves exhibitions in Washington DC, Lagos and Benin City.

She continued, “We think it is significant that this exhibition is holding in Nigeria. It is our hope that the citizens of Lagos and Benin City will receive this exhibition as a gift of love.

She said the photographs will be left in Benin City as a permanent gift to the National Musuem in the Edo State capital.

The Exhibition, according to her will open in Washington DC, the United States on September 17, 2014 and close on the 16th September, 2015.

Responding, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the exhibition will remind the people of the state of their roots, adding that “a people without history have no identity.”

The Governor said, “Let me thank you for preserving this history. I also want to thank you for the interest you have shown in organising this work and also the interest you have shown all the way in Washington in getting the world to spare time to reflect on the great history of this part of the African Continent.”

He said: “I am sure the exhibition will inspire our young people to know that every day, history is made but we neglect documentation. We don’t recognise that what seems very ordinary today may become very historic works some 100 years time, when we may not be in position to narrate our works.”

Expected to be exhibited are photographs and mosaics as captured by the lenses of the cameras of Chief Solomon Alonge.