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The Missing Nigerian Masterpiece Recovered In a London Apartment Just Sold for Over 1.6 Million Dollars

The Missing Nigerian Masterpiece Recovered In a London Apartment Just Sold for Over 1.6 Million Dollars

Ben Enwonwu's famous 1974 paining has sold for a record-breaking price.

Earlier this month, we reported on the finding of Ben Enwonwu's masterpiece "Tutu," which had been uncovered in a "modest" London flat, after having gone missing for almost 25 years.

At the time, the paining was going for $400,000 making if the most valued piece of Nigerian art. Today, "Tutu" went up for auction at Bonhams in London , and it shattered estimations by selling for a record-setting 1.6 million dollars (1.2 million pounds).


Ben Okri called the discovery of the work as "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years."

Considered "The Father of Nigerian Modernism," Ben Enwonwu's 1974 painting "Tutu" was a nationally embraced symbol of reconciliation following the end of the Biafran War.

Here's the story of how the painting came to be, via CNN.

Enwonwu was walking in the Nigerian countryside when he met a beautiful young woman whom he just had to paint, according to Bonhams auction house in London. Her name is Adetutu Ademiluyi, abbreviated as Tutu, and she was a princess in her city of Ife in south-western Nigeria.

The paining along with two other versions by Enwonwu went missing back in 1994. The whereabouts of the other two paintings remain unknown.

The identity of the buyer has yet to be disclosed.