British auction company, Christie’s, sold two life-sized wooden statues with Nigerian roots for N85.6 million ($238,000) in an online auction yesterday, June 29, 2020.
“A Couple of Igbo Figures Attributed to The Akwa Master”, were sold to an online bidder despite messy controversy on the legitimacy of the sale and how the company gained possession of them.
A Professor of African and American Diaspora Art, Chika Okeke-Agulu, advocated against such sale over the pass few weeks.
The statues were two out of dozens of local artifacts stolen from the southeast region, according to the professor.
The professor said the statues were made while the Igbo natives of the region were locked in a deadly civil war with the Nigerian government between 1967 and 1970.
He had written on Instagram on June 6 that: “These artworks are stained with the blood of Biafra’s children”.
Surprisingly, his advocacy against the sale of the statues did not gather momentum as many Nigerians especially the Igbos appear indifferent.
It is observed that Nigerians do not see the advocacy as a strong cause or they are just ignorant about the values of such prized materials.