By Lizzy Okoji
Abuja, – The National Museum, Lagos, has been selected as a beneficiary of the Bank of America Arts Conservation Project 2022 grant of US$40,000 to restore and preserve the Igbo-Ukwu bronzes.
Mr Abba Tijani, Director-general, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), disclosed this in a statement made available to the news Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Tijani said that the inimitable Igbo-Ukwu bronzes in the Lagos Museum were among the 19 major global art conservation projects selected, with fund from the grant to restore 350 Igbo-Ukwu bronze objects.
Tijani said that the Bank of America Arts Conservation grant was the first fund to be received for the conservation of the Igbo-Ukwu bronzes.
He explained that the grant would enable the National Museum conduct a structural analysis, consolidate and carryout full conservation and treatment of a total of 350 culturally significant objects of Igbo-Ukwu origin in its collection.
The NCMM D-G added that the conservation process would take approximately eight months on site at the National Museum and would involve support from an expert conservator.
“The Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project has supported the conservation of more than 6,000 individual pieces since 2010.
“They include paintings, sculptures, archaeological and architectural pieces of critical importance to cultural heritage and the history of art.
“More than 200 projects across 39 countries have been managed by non-profit cultural institutions that receive grants to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.
“The National Museum, Lagos, will restore the Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes, elaborately decorated bronze works, dating from the 9th century, in need of conservation to keep the objects in proper form.
“The grant provides an avenue for proper and adequate conservation of Igbo-Ukwu objects, especially some that are already corroded and needed to be restored.
“It allows the National Commission for Museums and Monuments the opportunity to exhibit objects in their best states for public education and enlightenment,” Tijani said.
Mr Brian Siegel, Global Arts and Heritage Executive, Bank of America, said that the support to the Museum was to support the preservation of artefacts and cultural relics in other to preserve history.
“Through the Art Conservation Project, we have an opportunity to shine a light on the perpetual need for conservation and preservation.
“Our support helps to ensure that future generation can celebrate and enjoy these historic works of art for years to come,” Siegel said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inimitable historical Igbo-Ukwu art pieces date back between 9th and 11th Century AD from Igbo ethnic groups of South Eastern Nigeria.
The objects represent archaeological materials from Igbo Isaiah, Igbo Jonah and Igbo Richard.
Their outstanding features are great elaboration of insects and other naturalistic representations on the surfaces. (NAN)