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Christie’s Sells Controversial Nigerian Figures For N92.821m At Online Auction

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Christie’s Sells Controversial Nigerian Figures For N92.821m At Online Auction

Christie auction Alusi


Christie’s sells controversial Nigerian figures for N92.821m at online auction. The British Auction house went ahead with the auction in spite of calls to withdraw the lot.

Christie auction Alusi

The “Alusi” figures from Igboland in Eastern Nigeria were sold in Christie’s Paris salesroom on the internet on Monday, June 29.

The artworks which sold for 212,500 euros (N92,821,168.75) a figure far less than its estimated price of 250,000 and 350,000 euros were part of the private collection of Jacques Kerchache, an aide to the former French president Jacques Chirac.

Before the auction, Chika Okeke-Agulu, a member of the Igbo tribe and an influential professor of indigenous, modern, and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history Princeton University, was opposed to the sale when it was announced. He wrote on Instagram: “(the) artworks are stained with the blood of Biafra’s children.” He said that Jacques Kerchache, who owned the pieces, exploited the Nigerian civil war in the late 1960s for personal gain.

Also, the National Commission for Museums and Monuments called on the auction house to pull the statues from the sale as it demanded proof of the objects’ provenance. The Commission argued that the removal of the items from their root violated the UNESCO convention of 1954, which protects cultural heritage during armed conflict.


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