Dialogue in Benin City: “What are the next steps for the restitution of African cultural heritage?”
On April 27th, IFRA-Nigeria and the French embassy in Nigeria organised a debate on art restitution in Benin City.
Together with Giles Omezi, architect, urban researcher and practitioner, Dr Vincent Hiribarren, Director of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) in Nigeria, moderated the panel discussion involving key figures of African history, arts and culture. The main ideas and opinions which emerged from this roundtable will be shared with the participants present at the Africa-France Summit in Montpellier, in July 2021.
Member of the panel discussion:
- Giles Omezi, architect, urban researcher and practitioner.
- Dr Vincent Hiribarren, Director of IFRA-Nigeria
- Dr Ṣọlá Ọlọ́runyọmí, Associate Professor in Cultural and Media Studies at the Institute of
African Studies, University of Ibadan
- Dr Oluwatoyin Z. Sogbesan, cultural historian, art and Heritage specialist and museologist,
member of International Council of Museums (ICOM).
- Enotie Ogbebor, artist with an in-depth knowledge of Benin culture, history, and tradition
- Ivie Betty Uwa-Igbinoba, Deputy Director (Research) with the National Council for Arts and
Culture and Head, Edo Zonal Office comprising.
The moderators (Giles Omezi, Vincent Hiribarren) and the panelists (Oluwatoyin Sogbesan, Ṣọlá Ọlọ́runyọmí, Ivie Betty Uwa-Igbinoba, Enotie Ogbebor) discussed the meaning of art restitution for African societies. They assessed the position of Western countries while also examining the current conservation policies of Nigeria. The roundtable ended with a discussion on education and the importance of modern art for Nigerians.
The video of the dialogue will be soon available, keep posted !