The Chairman, Governing Board, National Gallery Of Arts, NGA, Ambassador Umaru Azores Suleiman has solicited the support of Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed towards the realisation of a permanent edifice for the agency.
He made the appeal in Benin City, Edo State, South-South Nigeria at a Solo Exhibition Of the Art works of Mr. Joseph Alufa Igbinovia and unveiling Of his book, title FESTAC ‘77: Unmasking the Unsung Hero.
According to Ambassador Suleiman having such an edifice would boost the tourism sector.
“This is the time the gallery get an edifice. This will ensure a permanent name for many collectors and to host permanent and temporary exhibitions,” he stated.
The NGA board chairman went further to say that the edifice will attract locals and international tourists to Nigeria and boost the country economy.
“The edifice will attract local and international tourists who will pay minimal amount to view Arts works. This is another way of generating money to Nigeria government,” he said.
In the same vein, the acting Director General Of the National Gallery Of Arts, Dr. Simon Odey Ikpakronyi said that the exhibition is a travelling exhibition and it is the first of its kind to take place in his organisation.
“This is a travelling exhibition that we are kicking off here in Benin, we will move to Lagos and Abuja in south the first quarter of next year,“ he said.
He also noted that Mr. Joseph Alufa Igbinovia exhibition Arts works was the first to be documented in the National Gallery Of Arts, for an informed trained artist, a craftsman to become a well-honed artist.
Dr. Simon Odey Ikpakronyi also mentioned names of some documented artists done by National Gallery Of Arts, these include, Aina Onabola, Ben Enwonwu: life and times, Timothy Adebanyo Fasayi: A renowned artist and educationist among others.
Mr. Joseph Alufa Igbinovia, pleaded with the Nigerian government to pay him for the art works he did during the FESTAC ‘77 which was bought by the Nigeria government at that time.
The exhibition ended with the Edo State traditional music by some performing arts dancing group.