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Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00 AVI News
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Museum professionals in Europe with holdings of Benin art collections and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments of Nigeria, a scholar on copyright law and representative of the court of Benin, met in Benin, Nigeria on the 19thand 20thof February 2013, in continuation of the previous meetings held in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany and proposed that a Memorandum of Understanding be made between the collaborating institutions on the following issues:

Developing a data bank by the collaborating institutions on Benin art collections in their holdings in form of a digital archive of electronic and hard copies. This data will be submitted and made available to the general public.


1.  That all collaborating institutions upon request shall have right of producing free of charge photographs of Benin art objects in the collection of collaborating institutions particularly for scholarly purposes.

2.  That staff of the collaborating institutions shall have access to Benin collections in their holdings in accordance with the existing procedures of the institutions.

3.  That the National Commission for Museums and Monuments shall improve the university education for its staff working on the collections and on the basis collaborating institutions will assist in securing support for internship and scholarship for postgraduate studies in the Benin collections.

4.  That collaborating institutions assist with expertise in the establishment of a conservative laboratory in Nigeria.

5.  That collaborating institutions shall assist the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in developing its library and archive facilities.

6.  That the National Commission for Museums and Monuments and collaborating museums shall create an enabling environment for an increased exchange of touring / travelling exhibitions for the Benin art objects and other art traditions where the European and Nigerian Museums experts will work together in the planning and execution of such exhibitions.

That these individual steps are part of the dialogue which goal is to lead to the display of the objects in Nigeria.

The meeting resolved that there is a need at the next meeting to discuss:

- The issue of fake Benin art objects on the international art markets and its consequences for museums,
- The 1970 UNESCO Convention,
- The publication of their inventories.

Yusuf Abdullah Usman
Director- General
National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria


1.  To wit: Dr. Michael Barrett and Dr. Lotten Gustafsson-Reinius representing the National Museum of Ethnography of the Museums of World Culture Stockholm, Sweden. Dipl. Ethn. Silvia Dolz representing Museum fur Volkerkunde Dresden. Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlugen Sachsen of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany, Dr. Peter Junge representing Ethnologisches Museum-Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany, Dr. Barbara Plankensteiner representing Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Annette Schmidt representing the National Museum of Ethnology of the Netherlands.

2.  to wit: Yusuf Abdullah Usman, Rosemary Bodam, Peter Odeh and Babatunde Adebiyi

3.  Prof. Folarin Shyllon

4.  Prince Edun Egharese Akenzua MFR – Enogie of Obazuwa, Chief Stanley Obamwonyi – Esere of Benin.


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