It has been described as the biggest and most colourful coronation festival in Africa. The past few weeks has been an amazing time as sons and daughter of the great Benin Kingdom came from far and wide to celebrate the coronation of the new Oba.

Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Oba

Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Obait is not just a coronation but an historical affair that captures the essence of a new dawn in the great Benin Kingdom.

Putting an artistic touch to the grand affair, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture through the National Gallery of Arts, and the House of Representatives Committee on Culture and Tourism will be hosting an art exhibition titled ‘The Art of Benin Kingdom’.

                        Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Oba

Hon (Engr.) Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, the  Chairman House committee on Culture & Tourism and Member representing Oredo Federal Constituency, will facilitate and ensure the exhibition is a both a success and befitting to the monarch.

Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Oba
Alhaji Lai Mohammed giving his opening speech at the Art Exhibition

Hon (Engr.) Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama is an illustrious son of Benin and a staunch love of arts, history and culture. In a short interview, he said this, about the essence of the exhibition that was staged in honour of HRH Crown Prince (Amb) EHENEDE EREDIAUWA as the  39th OBA OF BENIN.

Question-. What do you see as the significance of the exhibition coinciding with the coronation of Oba Ewuare II?*

Hon Ogbeide-Ihama: When the Benin Kingdom is mentioned globally, Four things readily come to mind, rich culture, deep traditions, extensive history, and exquisite Art.

                        Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Oba
Hon Ogbeide-Ihama
                        Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Oba
Dignitaries at the Exhibition

                        Benin Kingdom Art Exhibition in Honour of new Oba

The once-in-a-lifetime event of a new Oba’s Coronation in Benin Kingdom is an event that embodies all of these factors I mentioned earlier.

It was therefore appropriate to put together a platform like the art exhibition that showcased the beauty and creativity of our arts and crafts across various medium like paintings, metal, bronze, fibre, ivory and wood works to complement the rich culture, history and tradition that the coronation ceremony itself presented.

Question– What is your impression of the exhibition?

Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama: The exhibition was indeed a beauty. It fulfilled all of our objectives in terms of the quality and variety of works on display, the pedigree of exhibiting artists, the presence and participation of top dignitaries, and the influx of visitors.  Talking about pedigree of artists, I was pleased to see on display, one of the sculpted works of the renowned sculptor, Duke Igbinedion, who produced the iconic ‘NASS Monument’ sculpture of a hand holding the mace that stands in the open square of the National Assembly.

We had a lot of our visitors-foreign and local who visited and were very impressed with what they saw.

The whole event from the opening ceremony to the days of exhibition was well-organized, and I must use this opportunity to thank the Minister of Information and Culture and the National Gallery of Arts for their cooperation with my committee in organizing a memorable event. I must also thank Oba Palace, the Coronation planning committee headed by HRH Prof. (Enogie) Gregory Akenzua and The Iyasere of Benin Chief Sam Igbe among several others, who supported us in having an outstanding event.