Home / Inside Edo / We’ll tap Edo’s status as cradle of culture to drive tourism, Obaseki assures Representative of Edo State Governor and Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero (right), and Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri (2nd right), during the second phase of Benin Art Exhibition, entitled “Art of Benin Kingdom: Complimenting Igue Festival and Coronation of Oba” organised by the National Gallery of Art and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in Benin City, the Edo State capital. We’ll tap Edo’s status as cradle of culture to drive tourism, Obaseki assures
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BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has assured that the state government will tap the state’s strategic endowments as a cradle of culture and civilisation to drive tourism and attract investment to its art sector.
The governor noted that his administration is taking positive steps to revive and promote the rich cultural heritage of Edo people.
Obaseki made the pledge while delivering a speech during the second phase of Benin Art Exhibition, entitled “Art of Benin Kingdom: Complimenting Igue Festival and Coronation of Oba,” organised by the National Gallery of Art and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, emphasised that Edo is the cradle of culture, noting that the state is blessed with a rich cultural heritage that is second to none in the world.
“You can’t talk about history or culture in this nation without mentioning Benin Kingdom. A lot has been done in the last three years to develop the art, culture and tourism sector, as the Obaseki-led administration has a key policy thrust to re-awaken the culture sector in Edo State.”
He further said that the state government places high premium on culture, which explains the repackaging of Edo Festival of Arts and Culture (EDOFEST), which was celebrated in the 18 Local Government Areas in 2017 and 2018 in the state.
“We have inaugurated culture clubs in secondary schools across the state, held exhibitions and supported others to exhibit their artworks across the state,” he added.
Obaseki said his administration is working closely with the famous Igun Street bronze casters to bring the trade back to life, noting: “We are working with Igun Street league of bronze casters to support them. Igun Street is one of the venues for this year’s National Festival for Art and Culture (NAFEST).”
The governor commended the Oba of Benin Kingdom, Oba Ewuare II, for his support in promoting Edo culture across the globe.
He added, “We are working seriously with the Benin Dialogue Group to see how we can return our stolen artefacts deposited in museums across the globe.”
In his welcome address, the Acting Director General, National Gallery of Art (NGA) Simon Odey Ikpakronyi, said the team is in Benin City to explore in great details, the immense art of Benin Kingdom as represented in the works of selected Benin artists.
“The Art of Benin is fascinating as much as it is intriguing. It has many facets that will continue to generate interest and admiration. The task of National Gallery of Art as custodian of modern Nigerian visual art is to continue to bring these to the public glare for appreciation.”
The Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, advocated rehabilitation and revitalisation of woodcarving, bead making as well as blacksmithing, which are at the risk of extinction.
Chief Edebiri called on parents to revive the dying Edo culture in their various homes and encourage their children to embrace and promote Edo culture.
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