Stella Dimoko Missing Nigerian Masterpiece Found In London Flat


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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Missing Nigerian Masterpiece Found In London Flat

A missing Nigerian masterpiece has been found in a "modest north London flat".

Ben Enwonwu's 1974 painting of the Ife princess Adetutu Ademiluyi, known as Tutu, became a symbol of reconciliation after the Nigerian-Biafran conflict.

The painting is expected to sell for £300,000 at auction - a record for a modern Nigerian artist.

Booker Prize winning novelist Ben Okri called it "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years".

"It is a cause for celebration, a potentially transforming moment in the world of art," he added.

Mr Enwonwu, considered the father of Nigerian modernism, painted three versions of Tutu.

All three went missing after his death in 1994. The whereabouts of the other Tutu paintings remain a mystery.

Giles Peppiatt, director of modern African art at auction house Bonhams, made the discovery after he was invited to appraise artworks at a "modest north London flat".

Mr Peppiatt said he is regularly asked to appraise versions of Tutu, which turn out to be copies.

The appearance of the original painting is "a momentous event and we expect it to generate enormous interest," Mr Peppiatt said.

It is not known how the piece came to be in north London, and the owners have requested anonymity.

The painting is to be auctioned at Bonham's on 28 February.

Mr Enwonwu was a student at Goldsmiths, Ruskin College, Oxford, and the Slade art school in England in the 1940s.

He became more widely known when he was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of the Queen during her visit to Nigeria in 1956.
from BBC.


  1. Oyibos thief thief. They used magnet to steal it

  2. I love art. Very beautiful piece.

  3. There are any stolen artwork in UK museum. So many from Benin kingdom and other part of Europe and America.

  4. people wey come burial use am do take away

  5. people wey come burial use am do take away

  6. Now I remember this nollywood movie ** oracle **.

  7. Na wa o! Someone must have sold it. Thats how those colonial masters stole the Benin artifacts and have refused to return them. Awon ole jati jati

  8. His family member stole and sold it

    If it was a black man's house that it was found in would he still be under anonymity?,or they would have started a manhunt for the others with proper investigation and persecution.

  9. I taught it only happens in movies, the person that sold it out would have made a great fortune

  10. A paltry £300,000 for a masterpiece as this? Isn't Basquiat contemporaries with Enwonwu? Yet the least sum ever paid for a Basquiat piece was over $1M.

    Reason is simple; Nigeria is grossly unaware of what should be truly revered and prioritised as national treasure...while a piece as this goes off on auction all the way on New Bond Street, London, with proceeds going into pockets of private individuals, more artifacts, paintings, sculptures, etc are getting shipped out of Nigeria in exchange for peanuts.

    Worse off, most museums/galleries for contemporary art in Nigeria are so bland it makes true art lovers nauseous. I had the unpleasant and torturous experience of visiting some of such galleries/museums last time I was out in Nigeria

    Keep killing your legacies, Nigeria. Nobody is gonna bop to those constantly churned out garbage music you lot like in 50 years...that isn't Art.

    1. Where's TGW to hail her V&V 😂😂😂😘😘 funny woman


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