Taiwo Opeolu, a sculptor, on Monday urged the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) to immortalise the renowned artist and painter, late Ben Enwonwu, because of his contributions to the development of arts.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that he observed that one of the works of the late artist was placed outside the museum and it was wearing off.
According to him, the Nigerian iconic artist’s masterpiece called “Anyanwu” which should have gained prominence over the years has not been promoted by the museum.
He said that the management of the museum should have been organising educative programmes on yearly basis to immortalise him.
Opeolu said that Enwonwu’s work was a masterpiece that attracted the attentions of foreign personalities such as Queen Elizabeth II.
“Ben Enwonwu’s works should be promoted alongside other artists who have contributed to the growth of arts in the country.
“The National Museum, housing his work ‘Anyanwu’ should organise educative programmes yearly on his works so as to immortalise the hero.
“It is on record that Ben Enwonwu was the only artist that had the benefit of drawing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth ll when her imperial majestic sat patiently to see the outcome of the drawing. He was a great artist,” he said.
NAN reports that Ben Enwonwu was a Nigerian painter and sculptor and was one of the pioneers whose career opened the way for the postcolonial proliferation and increased visibility of modern African art.
He was the first Nigerian contemporary artist to win an international acclaim and his work has been exhibited around the world.