Oyebanji set for Ekiti World Class Museum

By Feyisike Omolade

The Ekiti State Governor Abiodun Oyebanji on Monday visited Ise Ekiti where he set the tone for a World Class Museum for the South West State.

The art and craft industry is worth millions of dollars.

Oyebanji visited the homestead of Olowe of Ise known as a global art historian.

Olowe is often described as the “Carver to the Kings”.

Kabiyesi Arinjale of Ise Ekiti, Oba Ayodele Ajayi, conducted the Governor round the historic site

The Governor said the visit was part of plans to launch a renaissance in Ekiti culture and museum industry.

Alade’s milestones are firmly established across the world apart from his fingerprints etched in Efon Alaye, through Ikere to Ise Ekiti.

He was said to have provided the English Queen with one of his exceptional creative arts in 1930 which has since been kept in the British Museum until this day.

The art work is said to be worth millions of pounds.

The British continue to display the rare work of Art alongside iconic works like the Ivory carving of Queen Idia and other works which the British had stolen from Bini during the 1897 invasion of Bini ruled at that time by Oba Ovonravem Nogbasi

An aide of the Governor told Irohinoodua that the state Government will rebuid the site and turn it into a global Museum.

It is believed that indigenous Ekiti art works across the world are worth Millions of dollars.

Many of them were taken forcefully by Brittain or stolen and sold to the British and Americans.

Oyebanji said “It is truly a shame that despite Olowe’s incredible skill, he is not as widely recognized in his home country as he is abroad. Many of his most magnificent works reside in other countries, with very few, if any, available in his own town of Ise, or his home state of Ekiti.

“Today, as we embark on the rehabilitation of Olowe of Ise, we have the opportunity to not only preserve and celebrate his legacy, but also to bring greater awareness to his work within Nigeria. Olowe’s carvings are a testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic excellence of our nation, and it is only right that we ensure his contributions are properly acknowledged and celebrated.

“Through this rehabilitation, we can create a space that not only showcases Olowe’s carvings, but also serves as a hub for artistic exchange and appreciation. It is our hope that by doing so, we can inspire a new generation of artists and artisans to draw upon Olowe’s incredible talent and passion for their own creative endeavours.

“To achieve this end we shall do something about this house where he lived all his life; build a respectable museum here and make efforts to bring back home all his work taken away from here. All those pretty works of this super talented man must return home and adorn the proposed museum so that the world can find its way here to adore them and know that Olowe belongs to Ise, belongs to Ekiti and to Nigeria and Africa.”

Also speaking, Senator Babafemi Ojudu stated that the works of the late Olowe were well known in Europe and America.

While promising to collaborate with government to build a state of the art museum in Ise Ekiti, Senator Ojudu said he would do all within his power to ensure that all those works of art were brought back to the shore of Nigeria and especially, Ise Ekiti.

The Arinjale of Ise Ekiti, Oba Ayodele Ajayi used the opportunity to commend Governor Oyebanji for his efforts at repositioning the state and reconnect with Olowe of Ise whose works have gone all over the world.

The traditional ruler promised to cooperate with government by setting up a powerful committee that would work in line with government initiatives and policies towards achieving the building of a museum that would help attract investors to the community and boost its local economy.

Related Articles

Back to top button