The Most Valued Piece of Modern Nigerian Art Was Just Discovered In a London Apartment

It's being called "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years."

It's not everyday that a rare treasure is unearthed in a place as ordinary as an apartment, but that's precisely what happened on Tuesday when a famous 1974 painting by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu, depicting the Ife Princess Adetutu Ademiluyi, was discovered in a "modest London flat," reports BBC Africa.

The famous painting is considered a national symbol of the end of the Biafran War, and had gone missing in 1994 after Enwonwu's death along with three other versions of "Tutu."


Enwonwu is widely considered "The Father of Nigerian Modernism," and the famous paining is now being auctioned for around 420,000 dollars (300,000 pounds), making it the highest valued piece by a modern Nigerian artist.

Celebrated Nigerian author, Ben Okri expressed the gravity of the moment, calling it "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years."

"It is a cause for celebration," he continued "a potentially transforming moment in the world of art."

Enwonwu was one of the first international artists to win international acclaim, and was famously commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II upon he visit to Nigeria in 1956.

Before stumbling upon the painting, Director of Modern Art at Bonham's in London, Giles Peppiatt, said he had been frequently asked to appraise potential Tutus," but they all turned out to be copies. Its unclear how exactly the paintings made their way to London.

"Tutu" will be auctioned on February 28 at Bonham's.

Photo courtesy of 1-54/SUTTON.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Landing in Marrakech is 2018's Most Anticipated Art Event

The leading art fair dedicated to contemporary African art makes its mark on the continent for the first time this weekend.

This weekend, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading art fair devoted to contemporary African art, will debut in Marrakech, Morocco. The announcement of the Fair's expansion to the continent last year has left aficionados of contemporary African art in eager anticipation of this "homecoming"—this author included.

1-54 debuted in London in 2013. Although an expansion to New York followed, a presence on the continent was always part of the long-term vision of the founder Touria El Glaoui. Finally, the time has now arrived.

Here are five reasons why we're looking forward to 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech.

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This Olympic Figure Skater Blew Us Away Again By Pulling Off a Costume Change Mid-Routine

First Maé-Bérénice Méité performed to Beyoncé, now she's effortlessly slaying outfit changes mid-routine. What can't she do?

French-Congolese and Ivorian figure skater, Maé-Bérénice Méité, has pretty much been the life of the Winter Olympic figure skating competition.

Earlier this month, the athlete had the internet shook when she performed her opening routine to two Beyoncé songs. Now she's back with even more black girl magic.

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Video still via YouTube.

10 Stand Out Moments From Janelle Monáe's Powerful Music Videos

Janelle Monae came back making a statement—and we're just as obsessed as you are.

We've got to talk about Janelle Monáe.

Over the past half decade, she's embarked on a profound journey that's solidified her as an artist, creator and activist who isn't afraid to shoot down the stars—or shoot with them.

After having roles in Hidden Figures and Moonlight—two Oscar nominated movies where one won an Oscar, a stellar speech at the Grammy's and a stunning presence at the Black Panther red carpet, she's ready to grace us with "Dirty Computer," the latest musical venture in her Afrofuturistic saga.

To whet our appetites before the album, which is set to release on April 27, Janelle dropped not one but two music videos yesterday. Both are distinctly entertaining: one is a black, intersectional feminist anthem and the other a psychedelic soundtrack of sexual fluidity.

Watch both, then read some of the highlights we gathered from the hypnotizing visuals and powerful wordplay.

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