Obaseki launches Digital Museum with world’s largest online repository of Benin artefacts

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Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, reacts to his victory in the September 19 governorship election.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has described the recently launched Digital Benin website as a platform with the largest digital collections of Benin artefact. Obaseki said this during the launch of Digital Benin, which is part of the events marking Alaghodaro 2022 Summit, at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Airport Road, in Benin City, Edo State.

“We suggested having a catalog of all Benin artwork scattered around the world a while back. Today, I am so glad and fulfilled that five years on, we now have the digital records of 5,246 pieces of Benin and Edo artworks in 131 locations across the globe. This is a feat to be proud of. “Digital Benin is now the largest Museum in the world for Benin collections. It’s a virtual Museum which will tell you anything you need to know about Benin history and future. Go to the website and every piece of Benin artwork located anywhere in the world can be seen. You can see the artworks, the meaning and the locations.

“This is a significant milestone we have achieved. This project is very significant to the people of the kingdom. We thank Prof. Gregory Akenzua and members of the Benin Dialog Group who, over the last two decades, have kept on the pressure and the dialogue on how to restitute and return the artworks taken away after the invasion of 1897. “I met the Benin Dialog Group having this debate and discussion for the last 18 years and later joined them to ensure we achieve the aims of the group. We joined the group in 2017, and in 2018, we went outside the country to join the conversation and address the issues confronting the return of the art work.

“The invasion of the Kingdom destroyed our history which was unbroken for 1,000 years. It suddenly got broken and it’s taken us over a century to begin to understand our place in the world. For more than 100 years, our artworks have been with strangers who do not understand the import, significance and importance of these works.

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